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An Appraisal of an Experiment 
in Federal Aid 







G-rateful acknowledgment is made for all the assistance 
which helped to make this study possible. The American Library 
Association and the (3-raduate Library School contributed substan- 
tially toward the undertaking through fellowship grants. 
Edward A. Chapman, Director of the WPA Library Service Section 
in Washington; Nancy Blair, State Supervisor of the WPA Library 
Project in South Carolina; and Lee F. Zimmerman, Director of Li- 
braries, of the Library Division of the Minnesota State Depart- 
ment of Education all gave generously of their time for consulta- 
tion and made the records of their respective offices available 
for the purposes of this project. 

Numerous Individual supervisors of WPA library service 
demonstrations and local library officials also supplied essential 
information for the study and made it possible for the writer to 
observe the operation of many phases of WPA library assistance ac- 
tivities in the field. 

Special thanks are due to Dr. Carleton Bruna Joeckel for 
his thoughtful counsel in planning the study and for his helpful 
criticism of its separate chapters, and to Dr. Louis Round Wilson 
for his discriminating reading of the manuscript and his construc- 
tive suggestions for its improvement. 

Finally, I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness to my wife, 
Maverette Stanford, for Inspiration and encouragement during the 
entire course of the study. 




LIST OF TABLES . . . . vii 




Purpose and Scope of the Study 2 

Definitions 3 

Sources of Data 6 

Method . 7 

Arrangement of the Study 9 


Federal Participation in Relief 13 

Library Participation in Work Programs ...... 15 

Library Projects before 1933 15 

Early Library Projects under the FERA 20 

Library Projects under the Civil Works Program * 22 

The Federal Civil Works Administration .... 23 

The Civil Works Service program 25 

The (FERA) Emergency Work Relief Program .... 2? 

The PWA and Library Construction 29 

Appraisal of Library Work Projects before 1935 . . 31 


The WPA and Libraries 33 

Library Activities of the NYA 39 

Summary .............. 44 



Employment on WPA and NYA Library Projects .... 46 
The trend of library project employment 

through 1941 47 

Kinds of work and kinds of workers ....... 50 

Employment data, hy state, March, 1941 52 

Library employment under the NYA 55 

Summary on library project employment 56 

Expenditures on WPA library Projects ....... 5? 

Total Expenditures through June, 1941 58 

Chapter Page 

LIBRARY AID (Continued) 

Expenditures for 1940-41, by State 61 

Total library project expenditures 61 

Per capita expenditures of WPA funds 66 

The Distribution of WPA Library Assistance among 

the States, in Relation to Other Factors . . . . 71 
Comparison of WPA library expenditures with 

population 72 

Comparison of WPA library expenditures with 

the number of people without library service . 75 

Comparison of WPA library assistance with 

economic measures, on a per capita basis ... 75 

Summary 79 

Regional Differences in the Distribution of WPA 

Library Assistance 80 

Library Construction on Federal Work Programs . . 86 

Selected Aspects of Library Project Achievement . 92 

Summary and Conclusion 95 



Organization of the WPA 99 

Four Major Horizontal Divisions 100 

Four Vertical Hierarchical Levels 103 

The Central Administration 104 

Regional Offices . 105 

State Administrations 107 

District Offices 108 

General Rules and Policies of the WPA 108 

Project requirements ... 109 

Employment and personnel . . . . * 110 

Finance 112 

Sponsorship ...... 113 

The WPA Library Assistance Program 114 

The Library Service Section 114 

Objectives and eligible activities 117 

How a state-wide library project operates . . . 119 

Review and Appraisal * 122 

The Administrative Soundness of the Program . . 122 

Unity of management . . 123 

Hierarchy 124 

Span of control 124 

Authority commensurate with responsibility . . 124 

Depart mentation on the basis of homogeneity . 125 

Line and staff functions 125 

Co-ordination 126 

The Technical Soundness of the Program 127 

A clearly defined objective 130 

A competent director 130 

A professional advisory committee . 130 

Decentralized administration 131 

The role of the assisting agency 132 


Chapter Page 


The role of participating communities 132 

A preliminary surrey .... * 133 

The integration of existing library services . 133 

Formal contractual agreements ........ 134 

A definite time limit 135 

A sound unit for permanent service 136 

Impartial, area-vide service ......... 137 

Citizens 1 library committees . 138 

Co-operation with local organizations .... 138 

Public relations 139 

Summary 140 

MENT 141 

The Setting for Library Development 142 

Geography 142 

Population 143 

Economic ability 144 

The county as a unit for library service . * . . 144 

Library development in South Carolina before WPA 146 

Summary 152 

The State-wide WPA Library Project 153 

Objectives and organization . 153 

Development, scope , and achievement by June, 

1941 15? 

Summary 160 

Two Patterns of WPA Library Assistance 162 

Counties with existing local libraries 162 

Counties with no public libraries . 164 

Regional Library Demonstrations 166 

The Collet on-Dorchester Bi-Coimty Library . . . 167 

The Trl-Cotinty Regional Library 169 

Service to Special Groups of Readers 178 

Service to schools 178 

Service to Negroes ........ 179 

Reading clubs and contests 185 

Specialized Project Activities . . . 188 

Cataloging and book selection services 188 

Book repair 190 

Workers 1 training 191 

Publicity 192 

Summary ........... 193 


Chapter Page 



The Setting for WPA-Assisted Library Develop- 
ment 197 

Geography 197 

Population 199 

Economic ability 201 

The county as a unit for library service . . . 201 

Library service in Minnesota 204 

* The state library agency 208 

The State-wide WPA Library Project: Its Organ- 
ization and Administration . . 209 

Objectives and organization 210 

Noteworthy characteristics of the Minnesota 

project 211 

The Development, Scope, and Achievement of the 

State-wide Library Project 214 

Chronology of the county library demonstration 

program . 214 

Conditions and results in the first six demon- 
strations 218 

Demonstration Service Compared with Established 

County Library Service 229 

Tvo book collections analyzed 230 

Summary and Conclusions 240 


The Scope and Method of the Study 245 

Principal Findings 246 

Library assistance under the FERA, PWA, CWP, 

and NYA 246 

The WPA library assistance program 249 

Library project administration at the state 

level 258 

Evaluation of WPA Library Assistance as Federal 

Aid 262 

Weaknesses of the WPA program , 262 

Strength of the WPA program 264 

Implications for Future Federal Library Aid , . 265 




Table Page 

1. Tabular Summary on Federally Supported Work Programs 
Affecting Libraries 17 

2. Employment on WPA and NYA Library Work Projects, 
1937-1941 48 

3. Employment on Projects under the Division of Com- 
munity Service Programs, by Program, Type of Project, 
and Sex, March, 1941 51 

4. Employment on WPA Library Projects by State, in Re- 
lation to Employment on Community Service Programs 

and to Total WPA Employment, March, 1941 53 

5. Cost of WPA Library Projects by Source of Funds and 
Object of Expenditure 59 

6. Expenditures on WPA Library Projects by Source and 
State, Related to WPA Expenditures on Community 
Service Programs and to Total WPA Expenditures dur- 
ing the Fiscal Year 1940-41 62 

7. Per Capita WPA Expenditures on Library Projects 

during the Fiscal Year 1940-41 67 

8. Total WPA Expenditures on Library Projects during 
1940-41, Compared with Population and the Number of 
People without Library Service, by State 73 

9. Per Capita WPA Expenditures on Library Projects 
during 1940-41, Compared with Per Capita "Suggested 
Federal Grants,* 1 Per Capita Income, and Library 
Support, by State 77 

10. Rank Order Correlations between WPA Expenditures on 
Library Projects during 1940-41, by State, and Other 
Factors Associated with Relative Need for Library Aid 80 

11. .Regional Comparisons between WPA Expenditures on 
Library Projects during 1940-41 and Other Factors . . 82 

12. Regional Distribution of WPA Library Assistance in 
1940-41, Compared with "Suggested Federal Grants 11 

for Libraries 85 

13. Library Buildings Constructed or Repaired under 
Various Federal Work Programs , 1933-1941 87 


Table Page 

14. New Library Buildings or Additions Constructed under 
the Federal Works Program through June 30, 1941, by 
State 88 

15. Public Library Construction under the PWA, by 

State, 1933-1941 91 

16. South Carolina State-wide WPA Library Project: 

Basic Statistics 158 

17. South Carolina State-wide WPA Library Project Oper- 
ating Expenditures, as of June 30, 1941 159 

18. Area, Population, Assessed "Valuation, and Pre-WPA 
Library Holdings and Support in Georgetown, Horry, 

and Marion Counties 172 

19. Number of Volumes Repaired by WPA Mending Units in 

South Carolina, 1936-1941 190 

20. Analysis of Two County Book Collections in Minne- 
sota, According to the Number and Per Cent of Fic- 
tion, Non-Fiction, Adult, and Juvenile Titles in 

Each 231 

21 Analysis of Two County Book Collections in Minne- 
sota, in Terms of Their Respective Holdings in Se- 
lected Standard Lists of Books for Public Libraries 234 

22. Analysis of Two County Book Collections in Minne- 
sota, in Terms of Their Respective Holdings in 
Horton's Buying List of Books for Small Libraries 236 


Figure Page 

1. Chronology of Federally-Supported Work Programs Af- 
fecting Libraries, 1933-1941 16 

2. Employment on Federal Work Programs and Benefici- 
aries of Selected Public Relief Programs in the 

United States, 1933-1941 , 18 

3. Employment Trend on WPA Library Projects and on 
Library Projects of the NEA Out-of-School Work Pro- 
gram, 1937-1941 49 

4. WPA Expenditures on Library Projects during 1940-41 65 

5. Per Capita WPA Expenditures on Library Projects 

during 1940-41 69 

6. Comparison between ross and Per Capita WPA Expend- 
itures on Library Projects in 1940-41 70 

7. Regional Distribution of WPA Library Assistance In 
1940-41, Compared with "Suggested Federal Grants" 

for Libraries 84 

8. Public Library Construction under the PWA, 1933-41 * 90 

9. Organization of the WPA in 1940-41 101 

10. Organization of the WPA Division of Community Serv- 
ice Programs and the Division of Operations . . . 102 

11. WPA State and Regional Offices 106 

12. The Status of Library Projects in the WPA Hierarchy 115 

13. Population of South Carolina, by Counties, 1940 . . 145 

14. Assessed Valuation in Counties in South Carolina In 

1939 * 147 

15* Library Service In South Carolina in 1932 151 

16. Organization of the South Carolina State-vide WPA 
Library Project in 1941 155 

17. South Carolina State-wide WPA Library Project Dis- 
trict and Area Supervisory Boundaries 156 



18. County-wide Library Service in South Carolina in 
March, 1941 

19. Waiting for the Bookmobile "Somewhere in Colle- 

ton's Back Woods" 169 

20. South Carolina's WPA-assisted Tri-County Regional 
Library Area 171 

21. Direct Bookmobile Service to Rural Homes in Horry 
County 1?? 

22. WPA Community Reading Room at Murrell ! s Inlet 
(Georgetown County) 177 

23. Negro Library Service in South Carolina in March, 

1941 181 

24* The First "Faith Cabin Library," Saluda County, 

S. C 184 

25. "Uncle Euriah" Simpkins 184 

26. Land Use in Minnesota 200 

27. Population of Minnesota in 1940, by Counties . . . 203 

28. Assessed Valuation in Minnesota in 1938, by 

Counties 205 

29. Public Library Service in Minnesota, 1939-40 . . . 206 

30. County Library Service in Minnesota, 1939-1941, 
Including WPA Demonstrations and Previously Es- 
tablished Service 216 

31. Chronology of WPA-Assisted County Library Demon- 
strations in Minnesota, 1938-1942 217 

32. V/PA- Assisted County Library Demonstrations in 
Minnesota during 1939 and 1940 220 

33. Circulation Trends in WPA-Assisted County Library 
Demonstrations in Minnesota during 1939 and 1940 . 221 

34. Selecting Books from a G-eneral Store Deposit 

Station in Minnesota * . . 222 

35. Books in a Barber Shop in Sargeant (Mower County), 
Minnesota 224 

36 * A Town Hall Library Lending Station 225 

37, A Library Deposit at the Lars Kvale Store in 

Myrtle (Preeborn County), Minnesota , . . . 227 


Figure Page 

38. A Demonstration Deposit in a Roadside Cafe .... 22? 

39. Orange-Crate Shelving in a Jeweler's Shop .... 828 

40. A Lending Station in a Reconditioned Village 

Pump House 228 



Prom the early days of federal emergency work relief In 
the United States libraries and librarians have shared in its 
benefits through a wide variety of "library projects." Since 
1933-34 they have participated increasingly in federally-supported 
construction activities and in "women's and professional, 11 "white- 
collar, H and "community service" programs of such agencies as the 
FERA, CWA and CWS, PWA, WPA, and NYA. 1 

This governmental assistance, although primarily con- 
cerned with relieving unemployment, has made possible the con- 
struction and repair of numerous library buildings, the prepara- 
tion of union catalogs and special indexes, the physical renova- 
tion of millions of dilapidated books, the expansion of existing 
library facilities, and the establishment of demonstration library 
units in areas without tax-supported public library service. 

By the end of 1940 the library projects of the WPA alone 
were employing over 27,000 persons on a program involving an an- 
nual expenditure of over $18,000,000 of federal funds. There- 
fore, while federal aid to libraries has never been authorized 
formally by special legislation, it is apparent that indirectly, 
almost by accident, a rather substantial amount of federal library 
assistance has come into being as a by-product of the emergency 
work relief program. Moreover, this activity is of such scope 
that it constitutes a factor to be considered in planning any 
thoroughgoing proposal for future federal library aid. 

Throughout this study the following abbreviations are 
used, FERA refers to the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, 
CWA to the Federal Civil Works Administration, CWS to the Civil 
Works Service program, PWA to the Federal Emergency Administra- 
tion of Public Works (later the Public Works Administration), WPA 
to the Works Progress Administration {later the Work Projects Ad- 
ministration), and NYA to the National Youth Administration* 

Purpose and Scope of the Study 

The central objective of this study is to examine the WPA 
program of assistance to libraries as an experiment in federal aid. 
Library work relief has been one type of WPA activity since this 
agency's establishment in 1935. This study traces the administra- 
tive growth of library projects to 1942. Since all WPA activi- 
ties were drastically curtailed after July, 1941, however, the 
fiscal year 1940-1941 (specifically the spring of 1941) is the 
period used for evaluation* The study concerns itself with li- 
brary projects of other federal programs only as they relate to 
WPA library activity or contribute to a better understanding of 

The WPA was selected for consideration because among all 
the various work agencies of the federal government it alone has 
developed a program of library assistance with sufficient unity 
of purpose, continuity of operation, and stability of basic policy 
to permit objective appraisal. Throughout the study attention is 
concentrated largely upon the extension or demonstration aspects 
of the program because according to the official rules for WPA 
project operation ' r the governing objective [of WPA library proj- 
ects] shall be to assist established library agencies in stimu- 
lating local reception of complete and permanent library service 
as a regular public function." 

No attempt is made to describe in detail or to evaluate 
library work projects in each of the forty-eight states. Nor is 
project operation summarized for the United States as a whole, 
except in terms of total figures. Too many local variations ex- 
ist among the states to warrant making generalizations for the 
nation on the basis of conditions in any one state or group of 
states. Nevertheless, this study treat* WPA library activity at 
both the national and the state level, in separate chapters. 

Although the study is concerned primarily with the WPA 
library assistance program as it existed in the spring of 1941, 
considerable space is devoted to tracing the development of 11- 

^J.S. Work Projects Administration, "Operating Procedure 
No. <*-. Operating Procedures for Specif lo Professional and 
Service Projects* Section 0: Library Service Projects" (revised 
May, 1941), p. 1. (Mimeographed.) 


brary work relief since 1933, to provide a frame of reference for 
the detailed treatment of project organization and operation in 
1940-1941. Basic statistics on WPA library assistance are pre- 
sented and the implications of the program for the future of fed- 
eral library aid are discussed. 

At the national level the entire organization of WPA li- 
brary projects is described and evaluated in terms of recognized 
principles of administration and accepted library extension prac- 
tice. At the state level two case studies of individual state- 
wide projects are presented, to illustrate two fundamentally dif- 
ferent approaches to the use of federal aid for library develop- 
ment. The two states selected for this detailed treatment are 
South Carolina and Minnesota, states whose geographical, politi- 
cal, economic, and social conditions are strikingly dissimilar, 
and whose WPA library projects therefore evolved along entirely 
different patterns. Since the two projects are not essentially 
comparable, no attempt is made to evaluate them together* Rather, 
they serve to show how WPA library assistance, though a federally- 
operated program, was adapted at the state level to differing 
situations, predispositions, and needs. 

In terms of an hypothesis this study is concerned with 
testing the following fundamental proposition: 

Notwithstanding its primary objective of providing work for 
needy persons, the WPA, through its state-wide project pro- 
gram, has developed a pattern of federal library assistance 
and extension by demonstration that is essentially sound. 

In the course of the study appropriate evidence bearing on this 
proposition is introduced, and at the end such conclusions as the 
data warrant are presented. 


In the above hypothesis a number of terms require defini- 
tion, as they are construed in this study. 

The "primary objective 11 of the WPA Is expressly stated in 
the 1941 Emergency Relief Appropriation Act as follows: B to pro- 
vide work for needy persons on useful public projects * 

This goal is emphasized here to call attention to the fact that 

3 U.S. 73d Cong., 3d sess., H.J. Res. 544. Joint Resolu- 
tion, Making Appropriations for Work Relief and Relief, for the 
fiscal year ending June 30, 1941. 


all library activities undertaken by the WPA are necessarily con- 
ditioned by the limitations of a work relief program and are sub- 
servient to it. Only by recognizing this fact can a fair evalu- 
ation of WPA library projects be made. 

The term "state-wide" is an expression used extensively 
to describe the present organization of WPA library activities 
at the state level. It refers to the policy adopted generally 
throughout the nation since 1938 of uniting all WPA library work 
in each state under a single sponsor. Before that time it had 
been customary for individual local bodies to sponsor independent 
library library projects, a practice which frequently .gave rise 
to wasteful duplication of effort, petty disputes over jurisdic- 
tion, unhealthy competition, and Jealous independence instead of 
co-operation among communities. Thus, a "state-wide library 
project" today is an undertaking embracing within a single admin- 
istrative framework all WPA library activity in the state, in- 
cluding both aid to existing libraries and the extension of li- 
brary service to new areas by demonstration. 

It should be noted, however, that projects so designated 
are not necessarily tt state-wide" in the sense that they operate 
library units in every part of a state at once. Complete state 
coverage in terms of library service is admittedly a long-range 
objective of any state-wide program. Nevertheless, in the inter- 
est of maintaining & satisfactory standard of quality in the 
service rendered, project activity in some states is limited to 
the development of intensive area-wide demonstrations in a few 
selected counties for specific periods of time. 

Above all, WPA state-wide library projects are not to be 
considered as independent activities established by the federal 
government without regard to existing state and local libraries* 
It has been a fundamental policy of the Library Service Section 
to keep the library work program strictly an assistance undertak- 
ing, in which the WPA, by providing workers, professional advice 
and supervision, together with certain equipment and supplies, 
assists the legally authorized library agencies of the various 
states to develop permanent library service in areas formerly 
without it. 

The specific kinds of work eligible for inclusion In a 
state-wids project are largely those performed in regularly es- 
tablished library systtKs. However, In order to avoid merely 


tailing over the regular functions of such libraries, only such ac- 
tivities as could be shown to constitute a real expansion or ex- 
tension of existing services might be authorized for project per- 
formance . Other characteristics of the state-wide WPA library 
program are described in chapter v, where its organization and 
administration are discussed in detail. 

The "pattern of federal library assistance and extension 
by demons trat Ion" mentioned in the hypothesis stated above refers 
to the concept of library development through federal work relief 
assistance exemplified by the policies of the WPA Library Service 
Section in Washington. 

This pattern (as described in chapter v) represents a po- 
sition not determined hastily or even at any one time. Instead 
it embodies the cumulative experience of several years of trying, 
through various federal agencies, to fit the requirements of a 
sound library extension program to the opportunities offered by 
relief employment funds. As such, this pattern has never been 
described in a single, neat formula. However, it is clearly dis- 
tinguishable as it appears in the many different reports, operat- 
ing procedures, technical circulars, and office memoranda of the 
Library Service Section. 

The specific details of the WPA pattern of library as- 
sistance are not ideal for a general program of federal aid for 
libraries, since they were developed to meet the peculiar condi- 
tions of an emergency employment organization* Nevertheless, 
this pattern does contain element* that could be applied usefully 
in planning such a program in the future* In its appraisal, 
therefore, this study emphasizes these constructive aspects of 
WPA library assistance, as It was organized and administered in 
the spring of 1941. 

Finally, the term "soundness* (referred to in this study 1 s 
hypothesis as stated on page 3} refers to the basic validity, 
stability, or orthodoxy of the WPA library program In terms of 
accepted principles of administrative organization and a consensus 
of best practice in the field of library extension. Although no 

4 U.S. Work Projects Administration, "WPA Technical Series, 
Library Service Circulars" (Washington: Work Projects Administra- 
tion, 1940-). No. 1, "Union Cataloging Projects, " No. 2, "Selec- 
tion and Administration of Project-Owned Books, 11 No. 3, "Training 
Manual," No. 4, "Central Cataloging Service." 


single code of principles has been formally adopted in either the 
field of administration or in that of library extension certain 
basic generally accepted elements are to be found in the litera- 
ture of both fields. In evaluating library assistance of the 
WPA, therefore, this study applies two devices, based on the lit- 
erature of administration and library extension, to determine the 
program's essential soundness. The first of these is the "prin- 
ciples of administrative organization" discussed by Floyd W. 
Reeves in an article by that title. The second consists of a 
"code of best practice for library extension," developed from a 
study of theory and practice in this field. As a third element 
in the appraisal of WPA library assistance the general effective- 
ness of the program is considered, in terms of services rendered, 
local tax support gained for library service, and its development 
of techniques of extension by demonstration. 

Sources of Data 

The data upon which this study is based were obtained from 
five major sources: 

1. Published books and periodical articles on the WPA and Its 
library assistance program, on library extension practice, 
and on public administration. 

2. Federal laws and congressional hearings pertaining to the 
establishment, administration, and continuation of the 
WPA and other work relief agencies. 

3. Various office memoranda, official reports, operating 
manuals, and administrative rules and regulations of the 
WPA, of its Library Service Section, and of individual 
state -wide library projects. These sources of information 
are somewhat heterogeneous but nevertheless vitally impor- 
tant to this study. 

4. Selected statistics showing the extent and nature of WPA 
assistance to libraries throughout the United States and 
in certain individual states, and statistical reports of 
library service or construction activities carried on 
under the PERA, the PWA, and the NYA, 

4. Correspondence and interviews with numerous Individuals 
associated with or Interested in specific federal library 
assistance activities, and field notes from extended vis- 
Floyd W. .Heevea, "Principles of Adainistrative Organi- 
sation, 11 Current Issues in Library Administration, ed. Car let on B* 
Joeckel (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939), pp. 1-21* 

its to selected state-wide WPA library project headquar- 
ters and operating units of county library demonstrations. 


The method of investigation used in this study is that 
of applied research in public administration as described by 
Pfiffner. Moreover, one particular device used in the portion 
of the study concerned with evaluation is the case study. 

This device , which emphasizes analysis of the individual 
unit as a case, as opposed to a statistical sampling of aany 
units as a group, is particularly well suited to studies in the 
field of public administration* Unlike the physical scientist 
the student of public administration cannot set up experimental 
situations in which important variables may be controlled, but 
must study existing human organisations as he finds them, operat- 
ing under different conditions in every community. 

Pfiffner points out, with reference to the case method, 
that because of the heterogeneity of data and phenomena in the 
study of public administration a better understanding of funda- 
mental relationships may result from studying a small number of 
cases intensively than from analyzing quantitatively a small ar- 
ray of data from many. He then comments: 

There is a sound basis for this type of approach in those 
fields where valid measurements have not been developed and 
where the intangible nature of the subject matter makes gen- 
eralization difficult. This would seem to be a Justifiable 
basis for development of case study materials as sponsored 
by the Public Administration Committee of the Social Science 
Research .Council. 7 

For example, in Pity Manager Government in the United 
States, a recent review and appraisal of this particular form of 
government, the case method is used with success. Just as the 
many differences in local conditions made the acquisition of sta- 
tistically comparable data from many cities virtually impossible, 
so the concomitant occurrence of many different changes in in- 

6 John M. Pfiffner, Research Methods in Public Administra- 
tion (New York: The Ronald Press Co., 1940), chap. 1. 

7 Ibid> p. 94. 

8 H. A. Stone, D, X. Price, and K. H. Stone, City Manager 
government in the United States (Chicago: Public Aflminist rat ion 
Service, 1940). 


dividual cities from year to year prevented the authors from at- 
tributing before-and-after 11 changes in government costs and 
services to the city manager plan alone. As a result the method 
of statistical comparison was abandoned, and the case study 
method, with special emphasis on administrative techniques, was 
adopted for the entire investigation* 

In the present study, likewise in a sense a review and 
appraisal of a particular solution to a governmental and social 
problem, the case method seems justified for similar reasons. 
Wide variations in local conditions and needs and in project ad- 
ministration at the state level seriously limit the extent to 
which the whole program can be fudged by drawing generalizations 
from data compiled for the forty-eight states . Hence, instead of 
attempting to evaluate nation-wide project activity on the basis 
of composite data, this study presents a case analysis of the 
program as it is represented in the objectives and policies of 
the Library Service Section in Washington. 

At the state level the case method is also used. Programs 
of Individual states are so largely affected by peculiar local 
circumstances that no attempt is made to generalize from the 
available data. Rather, case studies of two strikingly different 
state-wide WPA library projects are presented as separate enti- 
ties. The two states selected for Intensive study, South Carolina 
and Minnesota, represent fundamentally different characteristics 
and do not lend themselves to treatment by comparison. Individ- 
ually they exemplify two distinct methods of extending library 
service to rural areas. Together they serve to show how a single 
federal assistance program can be adapted to dissimilar state and 
local circumstances and predispositions. 

Among the various specific techniques of obtaining data 
for the study all four of the usual methods have been employed. 

Observation has been employed as a method of obtaining 
Information during visits to numerous library project centers and 
distributing stations, and through attendance at citizens 1 library 
committee Meetings, VPA workers 1 training classes, and local radio 

Interviews have been held with the Director of the WPA 
Library Service Section, with state WPA library projeot supervi- 
sors, with representatives of citizens 1 groups, with projeot 
sponsors, and with many field supervisors and certified project 


workers on local units. 

Correspondence has been conducted with officials of the 
WPA and the American Library Association, with state library 
leaders, and with individual county librarians and citizens. 

Study of selected publications on public administration 
and library extension, following a search of the literature of 
these two fields, constituted the first step of preparation for 
this project, and was continued during its progress, 

Thus, no single technique has been used exclusively* 
Rather, various methods, were employed as the nature of the infor- 
mation desired seemed to require. 

Arrangement of the Study 

The text of the study is presented in the following se- 
quence of chapters. 

Chapter ii introduces the entire subject of library work 
relief by summarizing the development and organization of library 
assistance under the various federal emergency agencies which 
preceded the establishment of the WPA in 1935. These agencies, 
treated in chronological order, are the FERA, the Civil Works 
Program (CWA and CWS), and the PWA. 

Chapter iii traces the evolution of library activities 
in federally-operated work programs (the WPA and the NYA) since 

Chapter iv presents and analyzes basic statistics on the 
scope and distribution of federal emergency library aid. It dis- 
cusses the available data on library project employment, expendi- 
tures, and achievement through 1941. It tests the general ade- 
quacy of the program as an example of federal library aid by com- 
paring the distribution of WPA library assistance among the 
states and regions during 1940-41 with several factors related 
to differences in relative need. It also presents cumulative 
statistics on the construction and repair of library buildings 
that had been accomplished with the aid of the PWA, the WPA, and 
the NXA by the end of June, 1941. 

Chapter v describes the organization and administration 

9 A "certified" WPA worker Is one who has been certified 
by local relief authorities as being legitimately eligible for 


of state-vide WPA library projects In 1941, as revealed in the 
objectives, policies , and functions of the Library Service Sec- 
tion of that agency in Washington. The concluding portion of the 
chapter considers the extent to which the entire program embodies 
sound principles of administrative organization and accepted li- 
brary extensiofa practice. 

Chapter vi is the first of two case studies of library 
project operation and management at the state level. It treats 
the South Carolina state-wide WPA project, as an example of the 
use of WPA assistance to extend Immediate library service into 
all sections of a state simultaneously. Before WPA most Communi- 
ties in South Carolina were without public libraries, and few 
counties were wealthy enough to support strong libraries alone. 
The implications for regional organization, therefore, together 
with the problem presented by the state's high proportion of Ne- 
groes, children, illiterates, and rural residents, and its low 
economic ability, make South Carolina a particularly interesting 
problem to students of federal aid. As a library demonstration 
program the South Carolina project is notable for its extensive 
use of bookmobiles and its Inclusion of service to schools . In its 
county demonstrations. 

Chapter vii, which presents the second case study of a 
state-wide project, discusses Minnesota 1 s use of WPA assistance 
as an example of a limited, carefully controlled program, empha- 
sizing the establishment of permanent county library support. 
In Minnesota WPA aid was not dispersed throughout the state, but 
was concentrated on operating a few strong demonstrations in 
counties selected by the state's official library agency In ac- 
oord with a definite, long-range plan of state-wide library de- 
velopment. Just as the environmental conditions of this state 
differ from those of South Carolina, so the policies and teoh- 
niquea of the Minnesota project reflect a somewhat different con- 
cept of rural -library service* In South Carolina the entire pro- 
gram vas developed around bookmobile service. In Minnesota not 
a single bookmobile was used, for its program was based on a sys- 
tem of email, but carefully selected collections distributed 
from numerous lending station* or deposit* in each demonstration 

Chapter Till, the final chapter of the study, summarizes 
the finding* of the preceding chapters, discusses the primary 


elements of strength and weakness in the WPA library assistance 
program, and calls attention to such aspects of its organization 
or operating procedure as may be of use in future library plan- 


Throughout the United States free public library service 
and relief of the needy have both been traditionally local re- 
sponsibilities. However, in the last decade substantial amounts 
of federal funds have been expended on these two functions. 
Chapters ii and iii undertake to show the manner in which the 
federal government, owing to the unemployment emergency which ac- 
companied the nation-wide economic depression, assumed certain 
relief burdens and indirectly made available "federal aid" for 
library development. 

This chapter considers federal participation in public 
relief and the development of library work projects up to 1935. 
It characterizes the "made work" projects of 1932; it discusses 
library activities under the FERA and the Civil Works Program 
during 1933-34. It deals with the Emergency Work Relief Program 
(FERA) of 1934-35, and it treats briefly the building program of 
the PWA since 1933. 

Chapter iii, concerned with the period since 1935, dis- 
cusses library project development under the semi-permanent fed- 
eral Works Program. It considers W?A library activities from the 
beginning and discusses the growth and decline of NYA library 

In tracing the development of federal participation in 
relief this chapter has relied heavily on the following sources: 

Josephine C. Brown, Public Relief 1929-1939 (New York: 
Henry Holt and Co., 1940). 

Doris Carothers, Chronology of the Federal Emergency 
Relief Administration. May 12. 1933 to December 31. 1935 (O. 
WPA Division of Social Research Monograph No. 6) (Washington: 
Government Printing Office, 1937). 

L. Lazlo Ecker-R. (ed.), "Financing Relief and Recovery," 
Municipal Year Book 1937 (Chicago: International City Managers 1 
Association, ,1937), pp. 372-493 . 

A. W. Macmahon, J. D. Millett, and Gladys Ogden, The Ad- 
mlnistration of Federal Work Relief (Chicago: Public Administra- 
tion Service, 1941). 

Edward A. Williams, Federal Aid for Relief (New York: 
Columbia University Press, 1939). 



Federal Participation in Relief 

The chain of events that led to the development of fed- 
eral library work projects was started when the government as- 
sumed responsibility for relief of the nation's unemployed during 
the depression years. By 1930-31 it began to be evident that 
state and local resources would not be adequate to carry the bur- 
den alone. Accordingly, in 1932, under strong pressure from the 
states, Congress first made federal relief assistance available 
by passing the Emergency Relief and Construction Act. This act 
authorized the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) to loan 
to state and local governments up to $300,000,000 for relief pur- 

By the spring of 1933, however, it was clear that more 
federal assistance was urgently needed. Fifteen million workers 
were unemployed. Many local governments were on the verge of 
bankruptcy. In March, Immediately after the new President took 
office, all banks in the nation closed their doors. In order to 
meet this new crisis Congress hurriedly passed the Federal Emer- 
gency Relief Act in May, 1933, authorizing the RFC to issue an 

additional $500,000,000 for state and local relief this time in 

the form of outright grants-ln-ald. 

Neither of these extraordinary appropriations was expected 
to alter the basic status of relief as a local concern. To be 
sure, the 1933 legislation created a new governmental agency, -the 
FERA, to administer the grants; but both acts were definitely 
considered merely as emergency measures by which the federal gov- 
ernment would help the states to finance their relief burdens 
during the national crisis. 

The prevailing note of the 1932 relief act had been self- 
liquidation, that is, the limitation of federal assistance to re- 
imbursable loans. It had been confidently expected that business 
would soon revive, whereupon federal aid for relief could be dis- 

2 Emergency Relief and Construction Act of 1932* Public 
No. 302, 72d Cong., 47 U.S. Statutes 709, c. 520. Approved July 
21, 1932. 

^Federal Emergency Relief Aot of 1933. Public Ho. 15, 
73d Cong., 48 U.S. Statutes 55, o. 30. Approved May 12, 1933. 


continued, and responsibility for the needy would again reside 
solely with state and local authorities. However, by 1933 all 
hope of maintaining federal relief aid on a self-liquidating 
basis had to be abandoned; and in subsequent relief acts, through 
which the government gradually assumed more and more of the na- 
tion* s relief burden, direct grants were substituted for loans. 

By 1935, although business conditions showed some signs 
of improvement, a peak relief load of almost twenty million per- 
sons was being financed largely by the federal government. In 
fact, during the three years 1933 through 1935 federal funds ac- 
counted for over 70 per cent of all public money spent for emer- 
gency relief in the United States; and in one-fourth of the 
states over 90 per cent of the relief effort was financed from 

In the late spring of 1935 the federal government finally 
faced the Issue of formulating its policy on the provision of 
public assistance. Previously it had merely drifted along, meet- 
Ing each crisis with emergency legislation, hoping it would be 
the last, but always becoming more deeply involved in relief. 
.In his message to Congress on January 4, 1935, the President had 
declared emphatically, *the federal government must and shall 
quit this business of relief." 5 Therefore, In the legislation 
which established the new work relief and social security pro- 
grams in that year, the federal government made clear the spe- 
cific types of public aid for which it was willing to assume at 
least partial responsibility. 

General direct relief , the government held, should remain 
primarily a state and local responsibility. Accordingly, after 
1935 this function was largely returned to the states. Today 
federal participation in relief centers in two types of assist- 
ance. Under its social security program the government provides 
extensive direct aid to certain specified categories of those in 
need: the blind, the aged, and dependent mothers and children. 

^Arthur E. Burns, "Federal Emergency Relief Administra- 
tion, 11 Municipal Year Book 1937 (Chicago: International City Mana- 
gers 1 Association, 1937), p* 408. 

U.S. 74th Cong., 1st sess., President's Message to Con- 
gress, House Document Ho. 1, January 4, 1935. 

6 Soclal Security Act. Public No* 271, 74th Cong., 49 
U.S. Statutes 620, c. 531. Approved August 14, 193C, and Social 


The largest single federal contribution to relief, however, is 
the provision of work opportunities for needy adults and youth. 
Under the diversified work programs of the WFA and the NYA the 
government has provided extensive opportunities for useful employ- 
ment and the development of Individual skills in unemployed adults 
and youth. 

The chronological development and employment trends in 
the six federally-supported work programs affecting libraries are 
presented graphically in Figures 1 and 2. A tabular summary show- 
Ing the origin, general character, administrative status, and em- 
ployment peak of these programs appears in Table 1. 

Library Participation in Work Programs 

In the course of its transition from non-participation 
in relief to active acceptance of major responsibility for spe- 
cific categories of public assistance the federal government has 
contributed to library development through the work programs of 
several of its emergency agencies. Among these agencies are the 
Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) , the Federal Civil 
Works Administration (CWA), the Civil Works Service (CtfS), the 
Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (PWA) later the 
Public Works Administration, the Works Progress Administration 
(WPA) later the Work Projects Administration, and the National 
Youth Administration (NYA). Much of the credit for the inclusion 
of library assistance In these programs is due the officers of the 
American Library Association, who rendered continual advisory as- 
sistance to relief officials and to library authorities In the 
planning and development of library projects. 

Library Projects before 1933 

During the early years of the depression, while state and 
local governments were still supporting their needy unemployed 
entirely from their own resources, little work relief was pro- 
vided, especially for white collar workers* In 1938, however, 
when the federal government began to assist in financing state 
relief, broader work programs were begun in several states. Li- 
braries began to obtain relief workers for re-expanding curtailed 

Security Act Amendments of 1939. Public No. 379, 76th Cong., 
53 U.S. Statutes 1360, c. 666. Approved August 10, 1939. 



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services and for undertaking various temporary "made work* proj- 
ects, such as preparing special indexes, mounting and filing 
clippings and pictures, mending books, and repairing buildings. 

Most of these activities were begun as "stopgap" efforts, 
planned and initiated by individual libraries in co-operation 
with state and local relief authorities. They were necessarily 
temporary in character, hasty in conception, weak in supervision, 
and very uneven in the quality of their personnel. Moreover, as 
relief resources, available workers, and the pressure of other 
types of projects fluctuated, many of them began, expanded, and 
were discontinued before they could accomplish anything of perma- 
nent worth. 

Because of their localized and * fly-by-night* character 
and their relative insignificance in contrast to other kinds of 
work projects these first ventures in library work relief were 
never reported systematically; so no complete record of their 
scope and achievement exists today. Usually they were Included 
without specific mention in broad reports on clerical, educa- 
tional, white collar, or women 1 s projects. However, one may find 
occasional references to them in state and local library reports 
or bulletins and in some reports of state emergency relief au- 
thorities (variously known as ERA's, SERA 1 a, TERA's, etc.) during 
this period. 

In the spring and summer of 1933 library work projects 
began to expand, as it became increasingly clear that more wide- 
spread and varied types of work must be hastily developed if 
large groups of the able-bodied unemployed were to be provided 
for without a general dole. In the next few years, as one fed- 
eral work agency after another began to undertake programs af- 
fecting libraries, the nature and scope of library projects grad- 
ually took on a more substantial character and Improved in gen- 
eral soundness of purpose and procedure. 

Each federal library work program differed from the 
others. In fact, each program evolved continually itself, as 
changing administrative policies and the restrictions of succes- 

"Civil Works Service Projects," Library Ooourrent, XI 
(1933), 162-63. 

Ralph Munn, "Made Work," Bulletin of the Anerioaa Li- 
brary Association. XXVII (1933), 189-90. 


slve appropriation acts affected objectives and conditions of 
project operation. Thus, while one can generalize concerning 
library projects under each agency, it must be remembered that, 
owing to great variations in the local administration of each 
program, characteristic distinctions among them were neither ab- 
solute nor complete. Moreover, it should be noted that such dif- 
ferences as do appear in retrospect evolved gradually with the 
growth and development of organizational patterns and procedures. 

Early Library Projects under the FERA 

The Federal Emergency Relief Administration, generally 
referred to as the FERA, was the first of the federal emergency 
agencies to become actively concerned with library service proj- 
ects. It was created in May, 1933, as an independent federal 
agency to administer the distribution of $500,000,000 in grants 


to the states for relief purposes. As additional emergency ap- 
propriations were allocated to it for administration, its impor- 
tance increased until 1935, when the WPA took over the function 
of providing work relief. As the federal government gradually 
withdrew from the field of general, direct relief, FERA activity 
declined proportionately, until it was officially terminated In 

FERA funds, like those of the 1932 Emergency Relief and 
Construction Act, were disbursed by the Reconstruction Finance 
Corporation; but their allocation to state and local governments 
was determined by the FERA in Its capacity as a social rather 
than a fiscal agency, tmder this new arrangement the attempt to 
keep federal relief assistance on a self -liquidating basis was 
deliberately abandoned. In accord with the provisions of the 


Federal Emergency Relief Act outright non-reimbursable grants 
were made to state governors, to be administered as they saw fit, 
within such general conditions as the FERA might specify. Thus, 
the major power of determining the character of federally-financed 
relief remained with Individual state relief authorities (a situ- 
ation which ultimately permitted political manipulation of some 

federal Emergency Relief Act of 1933. Public No. 15, 
?3d Cong., 48 U.S. Statutes 55, c. 30. Approved May 12, 1933. 

9 Ibid. 


state programs and made the establishment of uniform standards 
of relief administration virtually impossible). 

Since FERA funds,, once granted, became the property of 
state and local governments, there was wide variation in the uses 
to which they were put. The FSRA urged the recipients to focus 
their relief efforts on work projects as far as possible. Nev- 
ertheless, since work relief requires substantial expenditures 
for planning, materials, and technical supervision in order to 
be' effective, a number of states, already financially overbur- 
dened, naturally preferred to apply these federal funds toward a 
program consisting largely of direct relief. It- is not surpris- 
ing, therefore, to learn that over half of all cases assisted 
with FERA funds received direct rather than work relief. Sev- 
eral states, however, in a sincere desire to avoid the demoraliz- 
ing consequences of a general dole, undertook to develop diversi- 
fied programs of made work, supplementing federal with local 
funds. It was through the pioneering efforts of these states 
that library projects began to take on a national significance. 

As a grant-administering agency the FERA was charged with 
the functions of allocation, formulation of general rules and 
policies, reporting and research, and assistance to the states in 
program planning and the development of sound techniques of proj- 
ect operation and supervision. The three major divisions of the 
FERA organization were, in accord with these functions, (1) Rela- 
tions with States, (2) Research, Statistics and Finance, and (3) 
the Vork Division. There was also, for a time, a Rural Rehabili- 
tation Division to assist the states in planning suitable types 
of aid for needy rural families* 

Since the actual operation of relief programs was en- 
tirely under the control of state authorities, the FERA field 
force had to confine its work largely to providing staff or ad- 
visory assistance to the states. Hence, the effectiveness of 
FERA recommendations depended upon the ability of Its representa- 
tives to establish cordial relations with individual state and 
looal relief officers. In some states such mutual respect and 
understanding was never achieved. In others, however, FERA of- 
ficials were notably successful in furthering the development of 
sound and diversified work programs. 

Burns, op. oit. A p. 395. 


The first work projects undertaken with FERA assistance 
differed little from those previously carried on with state and 
local funds. In other words, they emphasized manual labor almost 
to the exclusion of all other kinds of work. However, when the 
true extent o unemployment among women and white collar workers 
"began to be realized, special efforts were made to develop proj- 
ects suited to their abilities, with the result that eventually 
research and surveys, education, and library service began to re- 
ceive new consideration from relief agencies. 

5he increased interest in white-collar projects first ap- 
peared in the planning headquarters of the FERA in Washington, 
where the whole relief problem was being studied intensively. In 
August, 1933, Administrator Harry Hopkins authorized the estab- 
lishment of the Emergency Education Program, and in September he 
approved its extension to include comprehensive adult education 
projects. However, since the FERA lacked the authority to com- 
pel the adoption of its recommendations some states continued to 
restrict their relief programs almost wholly to the familiar type 
of a piok-and- shovel" projects or to direct relief. 

By October, 1933, since many states were still confining 
aid to women largely to direct relief, the FERA Administrator 
created a separate Women's Division within his organization by an 
order to the states, which pointed out that In spite of previous 
suggestions from Washington "very little has been done to develop 
a program of work relief for women." The function of this of- 
fice was to further the development of work activities such as 
sewing, canning, teaching, and library service. At the same time 
he requested each state relief agency to appoint a qualified 
woman to co-operate with this division in organizing such proj- 
ects at the state level. 

Library Projects under the Civil Works Program 

Suddenly, in November, 1933, the entire FERA organization 
was called upon to take charge of a wholly new endeavor, a 

Carothera, op. eit., pp. 15, 20. 

Hopkins, "FERA Serial Communication Series A, No* 
21* (October 10, 1933} , quoted in Williams, op* cit.. p. 109. 


federally-operated emergency work program hastily created to 
tide the nation through its most serious unemployment crisis* 
This was the Civil Works Program, which (through the CWA and the 
CWS) handled all work relief activity during the winter of 1933-54. 

The Federal Civil Works Administration. The CWA, offi- 
cially entitled the Federal Civil Works Administration, was es- 
tablished November 9, 1933, to provide immediate Jobs for some 
four million unemployed men and women. The long-range public 
works program (under PWA) had not created widespread employment 
as rapidly as had been hoped, owing to unavoidable delays in the 
planning, submission, review, and approval of project applications 
and to various legal obstacles to immediate local participation. 
Moreover, by the fall of 1933 unemployment had increased to such 
proportions that even with FERA help some states were unable to 
provide for many destitute families. The only solution, there- 
fore, seemed to be for the federal government to create immediate 
employment, if widespread suffering was to be avoided. Hence, 
the CWA was established as a federally-operated work program to 
reduce relief rolls and to "prime the pump of business* 1 by releas- 
ing purchasing power among consumers. 

The whole character of the CWA grew out of its major func- 
tion: to create jobs for millions of persons within a month's 
time. In the interest of speed, therefore, authority and respon- 
sibility were decentralized and regulations were kept at a mini- 
mum. State and local relief officials and field representatives 
of the FERA, sworn in almost overnight as federal CWA officers, 
provided the program with an Immediate organization directly re- 
sponsible to Washington. This staff was granted full authority 
to approve projects at the state level and to stimulate the in- 
auguration of suitable projects in every community according to 
Its need. 

Two general principles governed project eligibility. 

^A "federally-operated" program is one completely con- 
trolled and supervised by federal officials. The FERA, while 
"federally-supported, 11 was controlled by state and local authori- 
ties. The CWA, CWS, WPA, and NYA were "f ederally-operated. w 

14 U.S. President, Executive Order 6420-B, November 9, 
1933 established the Federal Civil Works Administration under au- 
thority of Title II of the National Industrial Recovery Act, Pub- 
lic No. 67, 48 U.S. Statutes 195; c. 90. Approved June 16, 


Projects had to be socially and economically desirable; and they 
had to be of such a nature that work on them could be started 
quickly. 15 Other limitations affecting the type of activity that 
could be included specified that the work must be done on public 
property and that no regular public services such as garbage 
collection and snow removal were permissible. Large engineering 
or building projects were eliminated by the requirement that 
nothing which could not be completed in ten or twelve weeks 
should be attempted. Yet the fact that the funds for the CWA 
consisted of a grant from unallocated PWA reserves made it com- 
pulsory that all CWA projects relate to construction! 

Administrative policies established that employees should 
be drawn from relief and non-relief rolls of the unemployed on an 
equal basis, and that wages and hours (within certain limits) 
should be based on prevailing scales, in place of the FERA 1 s "sub- 
sistence budget" basis. Work was to be done by direct "force ac- 
count" (day labor), not by contract, to enable the government 
quickly to increase or decrease its labor rolls according to need. 
Materials and tools were to be bought with federal funds if spon- 
sors were unable to provide them from their own resources. Dis- 
bursing was assigned to the Veteran's Administration, since it 
was already well organized to perform this function on a nation- 
wide scale. Relief workers were to be transferred directly to 
the CWA payroll from FERA projects or from relief rolls. Non- 
relief workers were to be referred to the CWA by the U.S. Employ- 
ment Service or by Labor organizations. State quotas were estab- 
lished in Washington on the Joint basis of state population (75 
per cent) and the proportion of people in need in each state (25 
per cent). Within this framework CWA project operation was begun 
just one week after the program was announced; and by its first 
pay day the CWA had "regular jobs" for almost a million persons. 17 

Owing to the basic restrictions cited above, CWA projects 
tended to take the form of flexible or temporary construction ac- 
tivities, such as road paving or repair, digging sewage or irri- 
gation ditches, grading and landscaping parks, playgrounds, and 

15 U.S. Federal Civil Works Administration, Rules and Reg- 
ulations No* 1 (Washington: Government Printing Office', 1933). 

16 Willlams, op. cit., p. 115* 17 Ibid. . p. 113. 


airports., and Installing traffic controls. Indoors its achieve- 
ments centered in repairing, renovating, and redecorating public 
buildings. Thus, the library benefits from the OWA consisted 
largely in the renovation of outmoded buildings, the addition of 
new shelving, lighting or plumbing fixtures, the repair of leaky 
roofs, the redecoration of public rooms and offices, and the re- 
landscaping of library grounds. Unfortunately, since data on 
library improvements were not reported separately, the total amount 

of CWA activity affecting libraries cannot be stated accurately. 

It is known, however, that in the aggregate it was substantial. 

Civil Works Service program. It has already been noted 
(p, 24) that the original CWA funds were limited to use on proj- 
ects concerned with construction. Because of this fact, which 
practically excluded women and professional and technical workers 
from participating in the CVA, a separate program, to be operated 
simultaneously, was created for workers in professional and serv- 
ice occupations. This program, known as the Civil Works Service 
program (CWS), was established by the FERA, to be operated by 
state relief authorities with FERA and state relief funds. On 
February 15, 1934 just six weeks before the whole Civil Works 
Program was discontinued unrestricted funds were appropriated 
for the entire program, and CWS projects became CWA projects for 
a short time. 

The CWS differed from the CWA in only a few respects. 
The most obvious difference, naturally, was the CWA's restriction 
to construction and CWS's to non-construction. Both programs 
were, to all intents and purposes, directed by the FERA, either 
in its own right or in its capacity as the official CWA organiza- 
tion. The CWS, however, depending on FERA and other relief funds, 
had to draw all of its workers from relief rolls; and it permitted 
lower minimum wages and longer minimum hours than the CWA. 

Such library projects as were carried on by the Civil 
Works Program naturally fell within the jurisdiction of the CWS. 


One observer, who had occasion to travel extensively 

visiting libraries during 1934, has noted that at the time he 
"gained the impression that most of the public libraries of the 
country had been more or less completely renovated at the expense 
of the federal government 11 (C. B. Joeckel in a personal note to 
the writer) . 


Its activities, like those of the CWA, were largely of a tempo- 
rary and flexible nature, emphasizing undertakings requiring lit- 
tle advance planning, few materials, and a minimum of special 
instruction or supervision. Also like the OVA, the CWS never 
compiled separate statistical reports of its library projects, 
s-o no accurate estimate of their extent can be made. However, 
the general character of CWS library activity is suggested by a 

special statement on the program issued by the American Library 


Association in December, 1933. Among others it cites the fol- 
lowing project undertakings: repairing books, providing addi- 
tional library assistants, conducting community surveys, reopen- 
ing branch outlets, preparing special indexes, union lists, or 
catalogs, organizing discussion groups, listing duplicates, con- 
ducting county library demonstrations, copying missing pages, 
taking inventory, cataloging, mounting maps or pictures, and 
providing guidance to readers. 

The decline of the Civil Works Program was as rapid as 
Its rise. By the middle of January, 1934 just two months after 
its creation it had over 4,000,000 persons on its payroll. By 
March 15 it had barely 2,500,000; and by the middle of April all 

but 100,000 of Its employees had been transferred back to FERA 

or to local relief rolls. 

It is almost impossible to appraise library activity 
under the Civil Works Program. In fact, in view of its extremely 
hasty beginning and its short duration it Is scarcely fair to 
pass even superficial Judgment upon it. In any case the avail- 
able data are too fragmentary and unreliable to Justify any at- 
tempt at an appraisal of the program as a whole. 

In general, projects were not dissimilar to those begun 
under the FERA, since many of them were the very same projects 
transferred bodily to the Jurisdictional framework of the Civil 
Works Program* The most important difference was of an adminis- 
trative nature. By operating the latter program Itself the fed- 
eral government was able for the first time to enforce such rec- 


"Special Number: Library Projects under Public Works, 

Civil Works, and Relief Administrations," Bulletin of the Ameri- 
can Library Association. XXVII (December 1, 1933), 539-51. 

21 U.S. Works Progress Administration, Analysis of Civil 
Works Program Statistics (Washington, June, 1939), p. 17. 


ommendatlons as it might see fit to make concerning project plan- 
ning and operation at state and local levels. Thus, whereas the 
FERA was limited largely to allocating funds to the states, the 
CWA-CWS arrangement made it possible for the government to resist 
local pressure groups and thereby to control the expenditure of 
its work relief funds in the public interest throughout the na- 

The (FERA) Emergency Work Relief Program 

From April, 1934, until the WPA was established in May, 
1935, work relief was again administered by state relief authori- 
ties, assisted by the FERA, in what was called the "Emergency 

Work Relief Program." During this period the Women's Division 

of the FERA, profiting from its experience with the Civil Works 
Program, began to devote its efforts actively to the co-ordina- 
tion of projects involving library work and the development of 
uniform project procedures and minimum standards of project oper- 
ation. Memoranda from the Women's Division in Washington urged 
the adoption of improved policies and practices in project admin- 
istration. Specific mention of library projects began to appear 
more frequently in FERA communio^tJcjis to the states. Official 
"Working Procedures" were issued to state relief administrators 
for guidance in organising traveling libraries, book repair proj- 
ects, co-operative rural library service, and village reading 


-rooms. By the fall of 1934 an, outline of a "state-wide library 

project" was worked out with library leaders and distributed to 
state administrators. 

During this period references to individual FERA library 
projects began to appear in professional library journals. For 
example, in October, 1934, the American Library Association Bul- 
letin cited numerous illustrations of local project activity, 
such as the employment of 550 workers in Mississippi to extend 

2 T4cmahon, Mlllett, and Ogden, op. olt., p. 18; and 
Williams, op. cit. p. 110. 

25 U.S. Federal Emergency Relief Administration, Work Di- 
vision Bulletin. Series WDO, Title F-7, Nos* 1, 4, 5, 7,TI 

24 Working Procedure, State Project for Public Library 
Service 11 (no imprint). (Mimeographed.) 


service to new areas, the provision of library assistance to an 
adult education program In Evans ton, Illinois, the cataloging of 
200 Pennsylvania school libraries, the surveying of library facil- 
ities in the Chicago area, the continuation of the A.L.A. Portrait 
Index, the employment of over 200 workers on a Boston Public Li- 
brary cataloging project, and the repair of nearly 400,000 library 
books in New Jersey alone." 

By 1935, according to information released by the FERA, 
close to 1,000 library projects had been established, giving em- 
ployment to 10,000 women in 42 states. The projects listed fall 
into three major groups: 

1. Manual projects, involving collecting, cleaning, mending, 
sorting, lettering, or shelving library materials. 

2. Clerical projects, involving cataloging or indexing col- 
lections, compiling various bibliographies, typing, filing, 
or transcribing books into Braille. 

3. Professional work, including desk assistance, story-tell- 
ing, advising readers, conducting surveys, and extending 
library service to new areas. 

Specific projects mentioned by this release were the 
Detroit book repair project employing 1,000 women, the Mississippi 
extension project which provided 43 counties with their first 
free library service, and the Kentucky "pack-horse library" proj- 
ect which inaugurated a door-to-door delivery service to bring 
books to isolated readers in the hill country. 

A final comment in this release called attention to the 
desirability of library work as a type of project activity be- 
cause of its low non-labor cost, permitting a maximum application 
of federal funds to the payment of wages* This argument, while 
always true of library projects as compared with construction ac- 
tivities, was especially valid under the FERA, since it required 
the sponsor to supply not only materials and working quarters but 


"Liorary Projects under the FERA," Bulletin of the 
American Library Association , XXVIII (October, 1934), 826-39. 


U.S. Federal Emergency Relief Administration, ll Pack- 

horse Library Unique . . . J 1 (FERA Release, Series NO-1027, 
January 24, 1935). (Mimeographed); and U.S. Federal Emergency 
Relief Administration, Work Division, Women's Section, "Library 
Service through Work Projects for Women" (FERA Bulletin, Series 
W-62, No. 4579, January 24, 1935), (Mimeographed.) 

also books and supervision required for project operation. 

The PWA and Library Construction 

The Federal Emergency Administration of Puolic Works, 
generally referred to simply as the PWA, was established as an 

independent federal agency in June, 1933 (pursuant to Title II 

of the National Industrial Recovery Act) just one month after 

the creation of the FERA. Unlike the FERA, however, its primary 
objective was business recovery, not relief. Its function was 
to promote the construction of large public works by making 
grants and loans to various governmental bodies for specific 
project proposals and by planning long-range programs of future 
public works. In order to facilitate sound planning it created 

~ QQ 

the National Planning Board, which, with its successors, has 
Indirectly, by example, influenced the formulation of sound plans 
for library development. 

The administrative organization of the PWA is of little 
immediate Interest to this study, since this agency was concerned 
with libraries only as public buildings to be constructed or ren- 
ovated with PWA funds. However, fundamental differences between 
the PWA and other work programs are worthy of brief mention. 
Whereas the WPA was a federally-operated program, the PWA, like , 
the FERA, was primarily a financing agency. Unlike the FERA, 
however, which made lump allotments to the states for use at 
their discretion, the PWA dealt directly with individual local 
public bodies, and made separate grants for each project under- 
taken* It was empowered to grant 30 per cent (later raised to 
45 per cent) of the total cost of a project and to loan the spon- 
sor part or all of the remainder if necessary. 

Work on PWA projects was to be performed by private con- 
tract with the sponsor, since the PWA was not empowered to make 
such contracts itself. Its main authority in this regard, as in 
determining constructional details, was solely the power of ap- 
proval. Thus private contractors, not the government, conducted 

27 National Industrial Recovery Act, Public No. 67, 73d 
Cong., 48 U.S. Statutes 195, c. 90* Approved June 16, 1933. 

National Resources Board, National Resources Committee, 
and (since July, 1939) National Resources Planning Board. 


all actual operations on PWA projects. Wages were based on pre- 
vailing scales; and in spite of efforts to make the PWA a relief 
program it generally permitted contractors to recruit workers 
from union locals or employment agencies without regard to their 
relief status. 

The chief daily business of the PWA, therefore, was the 
solicitation, review, and approval of project proposals, the ar- 
rangement of financial and legal terms, and the over-all super- 
vision of project operation. However, as has been suggested, 
the supervisory authority of the PWA was strictly limited, and 
consisted largely of the right to make sure that sponsors fol- 
lowed project specifications as approved, observed all of their 
contractual agreements, and adhered to the basic regulations of 
the program. 

By 1942 the original PWA program stood as a substantially 
completed effort. The PWA Itself, then entitled the Public Works 
Administration, was a unit within the Federal Work's Agency, to 

which it had been transferred in 1939 under the President's re- 

organization legislation. The last grants made by the PWA were 

for projects scheduled for completion by the end of June, 1940. 
On that date its accomplishments totaled over 34,000 projects 
completed at an estimated cost of over $5,000,000,000. In- 
cluded In these achievements were some 113 public library build- 
ing projects, at least 60 college or university library build- 
ings, and quarters for well over 1,800 libraries in various 
school buildings or additions. Tables giving more detailed 
information on the PWA building program are presented In chapter 
iv (pp. 86-92), where an over-all statistical summary on library 
construction under the works program appears. 

^Reorganization Act of 1939, Public No. 19, 76th Cong., 
53 U.S. Statutes 561, c. 36. Approved April 3, 1939. 

U.S. Federal Works Agency, First Annual Report , 1940 
(Washington: Q-overnment Printing Office, 1940 ) , p . 13"iT 

U.S. Public Works Administration, Allotments for Edu- 
cational Building Construction .... (Washington: Public Works 
Administration, 1939), IPlanographed) ; and U.S. Public Works Ad- 
ministration. America Builds (Washington: Government Printing 
Office, 1939), p. 132. 

Appraisal of Library Work Projects before 1955 

The preceding portion of this chapter has indicated how 
the federal government came to assume a major responsibility for 
providing public assistance after 1932. It has described the de- 
velopment of library projects under the FERA and the Civil Works 
Program. Also it has discussed briefly the character of the PWA 
as a federal agency that has financed the construction of numer- 
ous library buildings. Now, in perspective, Just what appraisal 
do these early library work projects merit, both in their own 
right and in their relation to later developments? 

First of all, it must be remembered that under each agency 
library activity was but a small part of the total program, com- 
pared to other types of projects. It is known that library proj- 
ects Increased both in number and in scope from 1933 to 1935; but 
it is not possible to trace their expansion accurately, owing to 
the lack of statistical data. Certainly, it cannot be shown that 
they followed any orderly course of development. Just as the 
whole relief effort was characterized by confusion, haste, and 
constant administrative reorganization, so the emergence of li- 
brary projects as an increasingly Important type of white-collar 
activity was accompanied by its share of ill-considered experi- 
ments and "boondoggling" enterprises, as well as its successes. 

In characterizing the deficiencies of the entire work pro- 
gram of this early period, Corrington 0-ill (Assistant Administra- 
tor of the FERA, the CWA, and the WPA) wrote in 1937: 

Moreover, the local work relief activities, financed by FERA, 
state, and local funds, left much to be desired. The proj- 
ects were frequently of little value, the work provided was 
almost entirely unskilled manual work, supervisory personnel 
and materials were Inadequate, earnings were meager, and effi- 
ciency was generally low. 2 

The caliber of library projects before 1935 reflected the 
conditions under which they came into existence. Neither relief 
authorities nor librarians were ready with carefully thought out 
programs when federal relief was begun on a nation-wide scale in 
1933. Hence it is not surprising that many of the first projects 

32 Corrington frill, "The Civil Works Administration/ 
Municipal Year Book 1937 (Chicago: International City Managers 1 
Association, 1937)7 p. 420. 


were hastily conceived undertakings of a more or less "busy work" 
character. Moreover, in view of the constantly changing adminis- 
trative conditions under which they had to operate, it is not 
difficult to understand why few FERA or CWS projects made sub- 
stantial contributions to the permanent extension of library 
service. Many projects of this early period were obviously lack- 
ing In plan or direction, which is scarcely surprising since li- 
brarians themselves had no national plan for library development 
until 1935. 33 In addition these early projects were frequently 
undertaken without sufficient books or supervisory assistance to 
establish even temporary service on a satisfactory basis. 

However, these first work relief projects did serve sev- 
eral valuable purposes. They provided much-needed assistance to 
libraries at a time when libraries generally were suffering from 
greatly decreased budgets and increased service demands. They 
demonstrated the efficacy of library work as a suitable type of 
project activity for women and white collar workers, tfhey 
brought to light numerous weaknesses that could be avoided In 
subsequent endeavors. They revealed the need for planning, pro- 
fessional supervision, and adequate book collections as a basis 
for developing library projects of permanent worth. They made 
it evident that library project activities should be integrated 
on a state-wide basis. Finally, they helped to arouse groups of 
citizens to a new understanding of the role of library service in 
community life an important factor contributing to the success 
of state-wide library demonstrations under the "WPA today. 


American Library Association, Planning Committee, "Look 

ing toward National Planning," Bulletin of the American Library 
Association, XXVIII (August, 1934), 453-6O; and "A National Plan 
for Libraries," Bulletin of the American Library Association, 
XXIX (February, 1935), 91-98. 


In May, 1935, the federal government undertook to clarify 
its policy with regard to public assistance by embarking upon a 
new and comprehensive undertaking known as "the Works Program." 
It had become evident by the end of 1934 that a substantial amount 
of work for the unemployed would be required for a long time to 
come, and that state-controlled programs under the FERA, which 
still tended to overemphasize direct relief, were not adequately 
meeting the need. Therefore, by way of defining its own respon- 
sibility in assisting the needy, the government established the 
new undertaking as its major contribution in the sphere of public 
aid, and provided for federal control of the entire program to 
free it from self-interested manipulation by state or local pres- 
sure groups. 

The Works Program originally included employment projects 

supported by direct allocations to regular federal departments 


and to at least six emergency agencies." Later, however, it cen- 
tered in the WPA work program for adults eligible for relief and 
the NY.A part-time program for needy youth. 

The WPA and Libraries 

In April, 1935, Congress paved the way for the new and 
greatly enlarged assistance program by passing the Emergency Re- 
lief Appropriation Act providing $4,800,000,000 "to protect and 


promote the general welfare" through useful projects. 

1 A. . Macmahon, J. D. Millet t, and Gladys Ogden, The Ad- 
ministration of Federal Work Relief (Chicago: Public Adminlstra- 
tion Service, 1941), chap. i. 

8 Ibid., p. 128. 

Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935, Public Res. 
No. 11, 74th Cong., 49 U.S. Statutes 115, c. 48. Approved April 
8, 1935. 



While plans vere being formulated for the Works Program 
it had seemed advisable to establish it as a new enterprise, dis- 
associated from previous federal assistance agencies. The CWA 
had become unpopular with employers and the general public be- 
cause of its minimum wage requirements and its "shovel-leaning 11 
reputation. The FERA likewise was in disrepute among state offi- 
cials because of its so-called "interference" with the administra- 
tion of relief at state and local levels. The PWA was generally 
disliked by contractors for its u red tape" and its constant scru- 
tiny of project operation. 

In May, 1935, when the new program was formally announced, 
the President created a wholly new and Independent agency, the 
Works Progress Administration, to co-ordinate the entire program, 
including FERA, PWA, and COO work, soil conservation, rural elec- 
trification and rehabilitation, housing, and independent profes- 
sional and clerical projects. 4 This was to be accomplished by 
making studies of wage and hour conditions, prescribing regula- 
tions, Investigating delays, reporting on progress, and directing 
such research activities as the efficient administration of the 
program might require. In short, the new agency was to serve as 
the "eyes and ears" of the President to further the over-all pur- 
poses of the federal government's diversified work program. 

The role of the WPA as an active, operating work relief 
agency was barely mentioned in the President's establishing ex- 
ecutive order. In it he merely stated that in addition to its 
other activities, the WPA was empowered to "recommend and carry 
on small useful projects designed to assure a maximum of employ- 
ment in all localities. 11 As an operating organization, there- 
fore, the WPA was expected merely to supplement other work agen- 
cies by developing projects to meet local or emergency situations 
not otherwise provided for. 

The WPA 1 s rapid change from an organization charged pri- 
marily with staff functions to the largest single operating agency 
in the Wor.ks Program naturally requires some explanation. Harry 
Hopkins, who had organized and directed both the FERA and the 

4 tJ.S. President, Executive Order 7034, May 6, 1935. 

Hacmahon, Millett, and Ogden, op. oit., p. 74. 
6 U.S. President, Executive Order 7034, May 6, 1935. 


CWA, was appointed Administrator of the WPA. Naturally, there- 
fore, the new agency was organized with a view toward avoiding 
the various weaknesses that had characterized these previous 
programs. Moreover, since the WPA was able to develop its field 
staff by virtually taking over state and local relief personnel, 
it was, of all the various federal agencies, best equipped to de- 
velop promptly the kinds of projects (those providing maximum 
employment with minimum non-labor costs) suited to the objectives 
of the Works Program. Finally, as a federally-operated agency 7 
it was much more than the FERA or the PWA able to control the 
use of its funds at state and local levels. 

Utilizing its authority to "recommend and carry on" proj- 
ects directly, the WPA began soon after its establishment to 
build up an extensive program of semi-perinanent , diversified work 
projects within the various states* To be sure, the program was 
never referred to publicly as semi-permanent. But it had been 
learned by this time that a work program requires some degree of 
continuity If projects with long-range goals are to be undertaken 
successfully; and it was generally acknowledged that in some 
fields (including library service) only such projects could pro- 
duce lasting, socially useful returns. 

At the beginning, library work under the WPA was merely 
a continuation of the type of activities that had been sponsored 
locally as FERA or CWS projects. With time, however, WPA library 
projects improved in quality, organization, and general sound- 
ness, as administrative relationships became adjusted to the en- 
larged scope of the new work program. Basic rules governing 
project eligibility, working procedures for project operation, 
and fiscal and reporting routines were codified. Related proj- 
ects were departmentalized according to groups of activities 
adapted to the skills of known categories of unemployed persons. 
Moreover, steady progress was made in the placement and training 
of workers, in the ability, competence, and experience of super- 
visory personnel, and in standards of achievement. 

As a result of their experience with the FERA and the 
Civil Works Program, WPA officials generally were aware of the 
suitability of library projects as a means of employing white- 

7 Sae p. 23 for the distinction between the terms "feder- 
ally-operated" and "federally-supported" as used In this study. 


collar workers and women. Therefore, from the beginning they 
welcomed advice and assistance from library leaders in developing 
sound procedures for the operation of library projects. In fact, 
in the interest of developing library activities of more perma- 
nent value than those hastily undertaken during 1933 and 1934, 
WPA officials have endeavored increasingly to improve standards 
in the planning of library service demonstrations. 

In the spring of 1935, when the new program was in the 
process of formulation, the American Library Association submitted 
to the WPA a proposal for a "Federal Emergency Library Project" 
to provide employment for approximately 50,000 persons in the ex- 
tension and Improvement of library service throughout the nation. 
For a number of reasons, including the fact that such a nation- 
wide semi-autonomous project would not readily fit into the regu- 
lar federal- state-local hierarchy of WPA administration, this par- 
ticular proposal was not approved in Washington. Nevertheless, 
the WPA has continued to look to the American Library Association 
and to individual library leaders for advice and assistance; and 
the Association has responded generously whenever its services 
have been requested. In June, 1935, for example, it prepared for 
distribution to state WPA officials and potential project sponsors 
a 54-page guide suggesting minimum specifications for some thirty 
different types of library project activity. 

During 1936 and 1937, and especially after 1938, when 
Mrs. Florence Kerr was made Assistant WPA Administrator in charge 
of white-collar and women's activities, efforts were made to co- 
ordinate various library service activities undertaken Inde- 
pendently as local projects and to integrate them with state- 
wide plans for library development. In the bibliographical 
field more ambitious and systematic enterprises were inaugur- 
ated. Mending and repair units were raised to a new level of 
performance; and actual bookbinding, a function usually allo- 
cated to commercial binders, was rigidly curtailed. Provision 


American Library Association, "A Federal Emergency Li- 
brary Project* (Chicago: American Library Association, March 4, 
1935) . (Mimeographed. ) 


American Library Association, "Proposed Work Relief 
Projects for Individual Libraries or on a State-Wide Baals 11 
(Chicago: American Library Association, June, 1935). (Mimeo- 
graphed. ) 


was made for the employment of non-relief professional supervisors 
for library projects. Limited amounts of federal money were made 
available for books and for bookmobile rentals as necessary "tools" 
for library service demonstrations. 

Finally, in 1938, a Library Service Section was created 
within the Professional and Service Division of the WPA, after 
two different trained librarians had been called to Washington 
to act as temporary advisers on library projects. The function 
of this section, according to its director, is to act as a 
clearing house for all library project operation and to render 
field services to all state-wide library service projects. In 
carrying out this function the director collects, tabulates, and 
interprets uniform reports of project activity, issues bulletins 
to assist state sponsors and project supervisors to develop sound 
operating policies and procedures, and holds conferences and 
training meetings for project supervisors. A considerable amount 
of travel in the interest of furthering sound project development 
and Increasing co-operation between state supervisors, project 
sponsors, and state WPA authorities keeps the section staff in 
close touch with conditions in the field. 

The activities of the Library Service Section are de- 
scribed in detail in chapter v. Therefore, at this point It is 
sufficient to observe that the function of the section is to fa- 
cilitate the adoption of project plans, policies, and techniques 
which will contribute most to the increase of permanent tax- 
supported library service throughout the United States. The 
steady improvement of project standards, the Integration of many 
independent, locally-sponsored library projects into single state- 
wide projects, and the redirection of project effort according to 
sound, long-range objectives since 1938 suggest that the creation 
of this staff office for library projects in Washington has con- 
tributed materially to bring WPA library activities to their pres- 
ent level of development. 

Since the creation of the Library Service Section, WPA 
library projects have been directed increasingly at the extension 
of library service to areas without public libraries. The out- 

10 Edward A. Chapman, formerly Assistant Librarian, Indiana 
State Library. (Functions described in a letter to the writer 
Auguat 7, 1941.) 

standing achievements of the program, therefore, are to be seen 
in those communities where free tax- supported library service has 
come into existence as a result of WPA projects. Unfortunately 
no accurate tabulation of such M WPA- Inaugurated libraries" can 
be presented, since local support of library service is frequently 
a question of degree, and because tax support is usually achieved 
through the co-operative action of numerous forces, of which a 
WPA library demonstration may be only one. Nevertheless, in many 
instances WPA projects have been the decisive factors in bringing 
about this objective. Also, in a few cases a WPA demonstration 
of library service in rural communities has been followed by the 
granting of state aid for libraries. 

The building program of the WPA, like the program of the 
PWA, is of interest to this study primarily in terms of its 
achivements. Nevertheless, the essential differences between the 
building programs of these two agencies should be mentioned 
briefly. The PWA was concerned with "heavy" public works, the 
WPA with small building projects (usually defined as those cost- 
ing less than $50,000 or $100,000). The PWA constituted a recov- 
ery, or "pump-priming 11 program. The WPA was fundamentally a re- 
lief program. The PWA's major function was to finance public 
works to be built by private contractors. The WPA, on the other 
hand, financed and operated construction projects Itself. Con- 
tractors on PWA projects could hire workers without reference to 
their relief status, while the WPA was required to take 95 per 
cent of its employees from relief rolls. However, in spite of 
its limitations in such matters as selection of personnel, the 
WPA., as an operating agency, was able to exercise much greater 
control than the PWA over the use of its funds. 

The scope of WPA construction affecting libraries is sug- 
gested by the following summary statement. By the end of 1940 
library construction by this agency totaled over 1,000 completed 

projects, including 187 new buildings or additions and 814 proj- 

ects , involving^ the renovation or repair of existing libraries. 

The moat noteworthy instances where state aid. for li- 
braries has followed WPA library service demonstrations are 
Arkansas and North Carolina. The former voted to spend $100,000 
for library development for the biennium 1937-39 and has made 
similar appropriations to continue this aid. North Carolina ap- 
propriated $200,000 for state aid for 1941-43. 

U.S. Congress, House, Committee on Appropriations, 77th 


Additional data on these accomplishments appear on pages 86-92, 
where over-all statistics on library construction under the work 
program are presented. 

Library Activities of the National 
Youth Administration 

The National Youth Administration, or NYA, is one of the 
categorical forms of public assistance (aid to specific catego- 
ries of the needy, e.g., the blind, aged, youth) directly financed 
and administered by the federal government. However, unlike the 
other categorical allocations, which give aid largely in the form 
of direct relief, the NYA is essentially a work program. It was 
established in June, 1935, as a semi-independent unit within the 
WPA, to develop a program of assistance specifically adapted to 

the needs of young people from sixteen to twenty-four years of 


age. This group, lacking adequate training, maturity, or expe- 
rience to compete successfully for private employment ^ and fre- 
quently lacking funds with which to obtain necessary education, 
suffered particularly during the depression. , 

In 1933 the CCC began to provide for a portion of this 
group; and the following year the FERA began a program of student 
aid to assist those enrolled in higher institutions to complete 
their courses of study * In the same year resident camps for 
young women were established. These early youth programs produced 
little activity of concern to this study, however. The CCC de- 
veloped a minimum provision of library service for the boys in 
its camps, as a part of its educational program. Also, students 
receiving FERA aid frequently served as pages, desk attendants, 
or clerical assistants in college and university libraries. But 
no library projects per jje grew out of assistance to youth until 
the NYA was established in 1935. 

The NYA was originally charged with two functions: to 

Cong., 1st sess., Hearings before the Subcommittee of * . . . on 
Appropriations for Work Relief and Relief, fiscal year 1945 
(Washington: -Oovernment Printing Office, 1941}, p. 75. 

13 U.S. President, Executive Order 7086, June 26, 1935. 

Harmon J, Chamberlain, U CCC Libraries," Library Journal. 
LXIII (April 15, 1938), 299-301. 


provide funds for the part-time employment of needy students to 
enable them to continue their education, and to provide out-of- 
school youth from relief families with part-time work on useful 
projects. In 1939, under the President's reorganization bill, 
the NYA became a unit of the new Federal Security Agency. Its 
basic functions, however, remained unchanged* Its major subdi- 
visions at that time were entitled Student Aid, Out-of-School 
Work Projects, G-uidance and Placement, and Negro Affairs; but 
only the first two are of direct importance to this study. 

When the NYA was first established in 1935, library lead- 
ers felt that it might present a real opportunity to libraries, 
which were already aware of the problem of unemployed youth. How- 
ever, when a White House press release suggested that apprentice 
training for llbrarlanship might be an appropriate field for NYA 
activity, the American Library Association was quick to observe 
that such training would be feasible only for subprofessional or 
clerical positions in the service, and to be effective would re- 
quire substantial financial provision for the Instruction and 
supervision of apprentice workers. Librarians apparently pre- 
ferred to limit their contribution to the program to developing 
such special types of library service as might be useful to youth 
in relation to regular work or training projects. 

In 1936, at the request of NYA authorities, the American 
Library Association reported to librarians that library service 
projects, to be operated in co-operation with the Out-of-School 

Work program, would receive favorable consideration in Washing- 
ton. Accordingly, largely with a view toward creating useful 

project activity for rural youth, a few states undertook to es- 

15 Palmer 0. Johnson and Oswald L. Harvey, The National 
Youth Administration (Staff Study No. 13 prepared for the Advisory 
Committee on Education) (Washington: Government Printing Office, 
1938), p. 7. 

Reorganization Act of 1939, Public No. .19, 76th Cong., 
63 U.S. Statutes 561, c. 36. Approved April 3, 1939. 


John Chancellor, "The National Youth Administration and 

Libraries, M Bulletin of the American Library Association, XXIX 
(October, 1935), 796-98. 


(iraoe W. Estes, "Rural Library Service Projects Of the 

National Youth Administration, " Bulletin of the American Library 
Aflsoclation. XXX (October, 1936), 939-41. 


tablish library service projects under the NYA. In some Instances 
these enterprises, offering part-time work to youth as library at- 
tendants, supplemented existing WPA library service demonstrations. 
In others, however, they appear to have been undertaken in direct 
competition with WPA projects. 

Little Information concerning NYA library projects has ap- 
peared in print, either in library periodicals or in publications 
of the NYA Itself, However, short articles have described NYA 

library programs in two states New York and Illinois. According 


to the article on the New York project (actually an informal re- 
port on its operation through June, 1936) the NYA had established 
54 community libraries in rural areas formerly without public li- 
brary service. The project was officially sponsored by the state's 
Library Extension Division. It had a staff of eleven, consisting 
of a state supervisor and ten district supervisors, of whom two 
were trained librarians. At that time it was employing 243 needy 
youths. Space for the newly established libraries was largely 
donated. The book stock consisted of traveling collections loaned 
by the Library Extension Division and such gifts as could be ob- 
tained from the individual communities. 

One of the most ambitions NYA library projects to be un- 
dertaken by any state was that developed during 1939-1940 in Illi- 

nois. This state-wide project was then engaged in a "five-point 11 

program, under which it (1) maintained 60 community reading rooms, 
(2) operated five bookmobiles serving rural schools, (3) maintained 
six hospital library units, (4) provided part-time clerical assist- 
ants to 200 public libraries, and (5) operated 25 book-mending units. 
In southern Illinois one unit of the project was also engaged in 
transcribing books into Braille for the use of the blind. Ac- 
cording to a statistical report on this work for 1939 the year 
closed with 781 youths employed on the project. This figure in- 
cluded 368 assigned to clerical work in public and school libra- 


Mary F. Mason, "Partial Report on Rural Library Serv- 
ice, March 12- June 15, 1936," New York Libraries. XV (April, 1936), 

20 Loren H. Allen, "NYA in Illinois," Wilson Library Bul- 
letin. XIV (May, 1940), 638-39. 

21 Loren H. Allen, "NYA Library Service," Illinois Libra- 
ries. XXII (September, 1940), 60-64. 


rles, 272 In mending units, and 44 in community reading rooms and 
deposit stations. 

The peak of employment on all NYA library projects was 

reached in September, 1938, when they were employing over 6,700 

youths. Nevertheless, it is clear that the program never 

achieved the nation-wide scope of the WPA projects. By February, 
1941 (the peak month for library employment during the fiscal 
year 1940-41) one-third of the states had no NYA library projects, 
and half of the total employment for that month was concentrated 
In three states, New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. 

On the whole, the character of these NYA library projects 
is similar to those undertaken during the early days of federal 
work relief assistance under the FERA. Sponsored by local public 
libraries or other public bodies, NYA projects usually assist in 
the regular work of an existing library or establish lending 
services in communities formerly without any free public library. 
As under the FERA the responsibility for providing both' books and 
supervision generally rests with the sponsor. Hence, NYA's con- 
tribution to the service Is largely limited to providing youthful, 
untrained workers on a part-time basis. Eligible activities for 
NYA projects Include shelf -reading, book preparation, desk serv- 
ice, book renovation, and lending service to Isolated communities. 
Book delivery to hospitals and to individual shut-in persons has 
also been undertaken by NYA projects in some states. 

The object of NYA library projects, according to NYA Ad- 
ministrator Aubrey Williams, is Job training through H work expe- 
rience," to quality youth for subprofessional employment in li- 
braries, In other distributive occupations, or In the general 


clerical field. At no time has the program included profes- 
sional training for library work. 

The development of locally-sponsored NYA library work 
projects has encountered difficulty in some states. For example, 
where the WPA had already established a state-wide program of 
library extension with the full co-operation of state library 

2 Unle otherwise noted, statements on the extent and 
nature of NYA library projects are based on information obtained 
by correspondence with NYA Administrator Aubrey Williams in 
December, 1941* 

23 Lttsr from Aubrey Williams, December 1, 1941. 


leaders, efforts to introduce local NYA library service often re- 
ceived little encouragement. In some states the WPA has devoted 
considerable time and money to planning library service demon- 
strations on an area-wide basis, to building up adequate book 
collections for this purpose, and to providing professional super- 
vision and in-service training for its workers. Hence, to the 
WPA and to some library leaders, these NYA projects appeared to 
be rival or conflicting enterprises, which might seriously 
threaten the effectiveness of the WPA state-wide program. 

Several characteristics of the NYA program suggest that 
perhaps the establishment of new libraries may be less well 
suited to its objectives than had appeared to be the case at 
first. A major difficulty encountered by some NYA library proj- 
ects has been the development of. suitable personnel. In New 
York, for example, only 8 per cent of the workers on the project 
had finished high school, and only two of ten district supervi- 
sors had had library training. 24 Age limitations and the restric- 
tion of work to part-time employment both tend to hamper satis- 
factory operation of this type of project. Finally the dependence 
upon other library collections and donations from friendly citi- 
zen groups for books decreases the likelihood of developing a 
quality of service even at a demonstration level that would In- 
spire permanent public support. 

During 1941, in keeping with Its policy of emphasizing 
projects involving skills required by defense industries, the NYA 
greatly curtailed its activity in the field of library service. 
By October of that year employment on library projects had de- 
creased 75 per cent from its February peak. By the beginning of 
1942 practically all NYA library service projects had been dis- 

The library activities discussed above are all part of 
the Out-of -School Work program, but they do not constitute the 
NYA ! s sole contribution to library service. In its Student Work 
Program it has provided school, college, and public libraries 
with part-time clerks and pages ever since it began, thus taking 
over a function originally carried by the FERA (see p. 39). Dur- 
ing 1941 (according to Aubrey Williams) the NYA provided part- 
time library work for over 50,000 youths, or approximately IS per 



cent of all those participating in the Student Work program. 
Since reports on the program are not broken down in detail, it is 
not possible to describe accurately the various kinds of work 
performed by these students, or to summarize their total accom- 
plishment. However, it is known that in most cases they serve as 
pages, desk attendants, or general assistants performing routine 
tasks or working on special cataloging or indexing projects. The 
importance of the Student Work Program to libraries is that the 
amount of help which it makes available is substantial, whether 
considered in the aggregate or from the point of view of the typ- 
ical small college library to which this aid has become essential 
in maintaining adequate service. 

The final aspect of the NYA program which affects libra- 
ries is the construction or manual training phase of its Out-of~ 
School Work Program. In some communities its carpentry shop 
builds library shelving, charging desks, and other furniture for 
the use of existing schools or libraries or for use in WPA li- 
brary demonstrations. In other localities whole library build- 
ings have been constructed or improved as NYA projects. Thus, 
by July, 1941, the NYA had built 43 new libraries or additions, 
nad repaired almost 350 existing libraries, and had 11 library 
buildings in progress* 

Chapters ii and 111 have traced the evolution of library 
work relief from 1933 to 1941. They have described how the fed- 
eral government came to assume certain definite obligations for 
the relief of the needy as a result of the unemployment emergency 
of the early nineteen-thirtles, and how through various programs 
they financed and operated projects directly contributing to the 
Improvement of library facilities and the extension of library 
services throughout the nation* They have shown how library 
service projects emerged from "fly-by-night" locally-sponsored 
and uninte grated activities of questionable permanent value into 
co-ordinated state-wide programs for library development under 
the WPA. Together, therefore, these two chapters provide a his- 
torical background or frame of reference against which the re- 
mainder of the study can be more readily understood. 

The next chapter, devoted to an analysis and interpreta- 


tlon of over-all statistics on library project employment, ex- 
penditures, and achievement as of June, 1941, supplements the 
preceding chronological survey and suggests the importance of 
work relief as a form of federal library aid. 



A major purpose of this chapter is to present over-all 
statistics of employment and expenditures on federally assisted 
library work projects in the United States. A second and more 
important purpose is to test the general adequacy of the WPA li- 
brary assistance program by comparing its expenditures by state 
and region with the distribution of population and with certain 
other rough measures of need for federal library aid. A third 
purpose is to summarize the library building activities of the 
various federal emergency programs and to present data on se- 
lected, measurable aspects of library project achievement. 

The inadequacy of statistics on library work relief has 
already been mentioned. However, Inasmuch as this chapter pur- 
ports to present as complete statistics as are available on the 
quantitative aspects of library project operation, it should be 
noted again that wholly reliable and complete, figures on these 
activities cannot be segregated before 1937. 

The lack of comparable data for this early period may be 
explained by the relative insignificance of library projects in 
relation to other types of work relief, and by the fact that the 
early programs were largely organized and administered at the 
local level and hence were not reported uniformly. Fortunately, 
records on WPA library projects have been compiled systematically 
since 1937. The figures for WPA expenditures on library assist- 
ance for the fiscal year 1940-1941, therefore, as presented in 
this chapter, provide a substantially reliable basis for studying 
the relative Importance of the program as an experiment in fed- 
eral library aid. 

Employment on VPA and NYA Library Projects 

Of all the federal agencies which have financed library 
work relief projects since 1935, only the WPA and the NYA have 



kept separate records of employment on this particular type of 
activity. Even these organizations did not segregate library em- 
ployment from all other white-collar project records during the 
first year or two of their existence. This study, therefore, 
confines its presentation of statistics on library project em- 
ployment largely to the five-year period from the "beginning of 
1937 to the end of 1941. 

The trend of library project employment through 1941. 
The earliest published statement on WPA library employment, which 
appeared in 1936, reported a total of 15,301 persons as being en- 
gaged in this type of work in February of that year. Official 
figures on both W?A and NYA library employment through 1941 are 
presented in Table 2, and the trend is shown graphically in Figure 
3. During 1937, according to these data, WPA employment on li- 
brary projects Increased to almost 26,000 persons. In November, 
1938, the number of WPA library workers reached an all-time high 
of 38,324. 

By the fall of 1939, as part of a substantial reduction 
in the entire work program, WPA library employment declined to 
less than 20,000 workers, or barely one-half the number reported 
a year before. During the fiscal year 1940-41, in spite of sea- 
sonal fluctuations, the library program maintained an average of 
25,000 employees. In July, however, greatly reduced WPA appro- 
priations necessitated drastic curtailment of work-relief rolls, 
with the result that by the end of that month library project em- 
ployment had dropped to barely 14,000 persons. By the end of 
1941 some upward trend appeared to have begun; but after the at- 
tack on Pearl Harbor it became Increasingly evident that relief 
employment not contributing more or less directly to the war ef- 
fort would probably be curtailed even more drastically In the fu- 
ture. In May, 1942, all state-wide WPA library projects were 
reorganized as WPA War Information Service programs, with, greatly 
reduced personnel. 

In summary, the characteristic trend in WPA library em- 
ployment from 1937 through 1941 has been one of fairly steady in- 
crease until November, 1938, and sharp seasonal fluctuations 

Works Progress Administration, Report on Progress 
_ rogram (Washington: Work 
May 16, 1936), p. 20. (Planographed.) 

of the Works Program (Washington: Works Progress Administration, 
" 16, 1936), p. 20. (Planographed.) 




' Of PC] 



of Pe 














Jan . 

21 722 

14 168 


Jan . 

29 007 

5 954 

34 961 



23 , 146 








36 212 









5 605 

31 956 










26 , 346 



14 , 841 




3 852 

26 859 

Sept . 





Sept . 

23 854 

3 704 

27 558 





Oct . 

25 935 

3 566 

29 501 

Dec . 







27 290 

4 052 

31 342 



27 , 647 




































16 , 090 


















25 , 628 










10 860 

































a Souroe: Data supplied by the Work Projects Administra- 
tion and the National Youth Administration. 

After September, 1939, separate reports were not com- 
for Library Service and Book Repair projects. 




(high in late winter and low In summer) until July, 1941, when 
the entire program was reduced to barely one-third of Its highest 
employment peak. 

Kinds of work and kinds of workers. The available data 
on WPA library employment cannot be broken down in terms of kinds 
and amounts of service which they represent. Nor do they provide 
much Information concerning the characteristics of the workers 
employed on library projects. There are, however, a few distinc- 
tions among the data which can be made; and these are presented 
for such light as they may throw on the character of the program 
as a whole 

It is known, for example, that in 1937 approximately one- 
third of all WPA library employees were engaged in book repair 
work, and that by the middle of 1938 this proportion had increased 
to almost 45 per cent (see Table 2 and Fig. 3). It is also known 
that by September, 1939, this ratio had fallen to barely 17 per 
cent, owing to the rigid curtailment of bookbinding and the repair 
of school textbooks by library project workers. The administra- 
tion of book mending as a "staff" function of state-wide WPA li- 
brary projects since 1939 makes it impossible to estimate accu- 
rately the proportion of workers engaged In this work during 1940 
and 1941. 

Other types of work represented by these employment data 
cannot be broken down into separate oategories. However, in any 
given state they may include ordering, cataloging, or preparing 
books for circulation, distributing them to lending units, oper- 
ating bookmobiles and community reading rooms, transcribing books 
into Braille, and assisting regular libraries in special tasks 
-designed to expand their available services. 

Not all WPA activity which might be designated as library 
work is Included in the foregoing statistics. "Library project 
workers/ as defined in this study, refers only to persons employed 
on regularly sponsored library projects, assisting existing li- 
brary agencies or establishing library service in new areas. In 
other words, It does not include workers on Museum, Education, 
Recreation, Writing, Research, and Public Records projects, nor 
those on the Historical Records Survey. Some of these projects 
make extensive use of libraries* Borne of them involve indexing 
or bibliographical tasks that might easily be considered as li- 
brary work. A few even maintain library service to facilitate 


project; operation. None of these undertakings, however, are ad- 
ministratively a part of the WPA library assistance program. They 
are separately sponsored, separately reported, and hence are not 
Included in the statistics on library work relief. 

The only breakdowns of WPA employment statistics which 
divide library workers into groups are those by sex and adminis- 
trative or payroll status. Thus, as is shown by Table 3, library 





*PT*nO*T*flTn JSTlfl 


of Pers 



ri ar ++- 


Type of Project 








Public Activities Programs 
Education. ............... 

10 320 

16 899 

27 219 



Recreation ........ . . 


13 149 

34 359 




4 929 

20 263 

25 192 



Myflemn .vtif-^-rtitiitr*.*- 

3 442 

2 078 

5 520 




4 457 

1 671 

6 128 





















Research and Records Prog. . 
Research and surveys, . . , , 



27 , 812 



Public Records 

17 , 322 

11 , 927 




Hist. Records Survey 












Welfare Programs 
Public Health and 
Hospital * 


9 711 




Sewing* .................. 






Production (except sewing) 
Housekeeping Aides ....... 




7 9 


Household Workers 
Training B ^ *....,. 






10 189 

54 109 




Surplus Commodity Dis- 












Other Programs 






Total for the Division of 
Community Service 






a Souroe: U.S. Work Projects Administration, Statist leal 
Summary of WPA Community Service Programs. March. 1941 (Washing- 
ton: Work Projects Administration, 1941), p. 2. 


projects, with a personnel that is less than 20 per cent male, 
comprise one of the few WPA activities that are essentially femi- 
nine* Only four other programs (Sewing, Housekeeping Aides, 
Household Workers 1 Training, and School Lunches) have a smaller 
proportion of men* The personnel of all WPA projects averages 
more than 80 per cent men. 

The breakdown by administrative or wage status merely 
distinguishes between the "project wage" (relief workers) and 
"project supervisory" groups. In March, 1941, with a total per- 
sonnel of over 25,000, only 965, or 3.8 per cent, of the employees 
on WPA library projects were classed as "project supervisory 11 
(see Table 4). Of these 965 probably not more than two or three 
hundred had had previous professional library training and expe- 
rience . 

The library program's ratio of "supervisory" employees to 
its total employment is much smaller than that of other Public 
Activities Programs. Music and Art projects, for example, each 
had more than 5 per cent of supervisory employees. Recreation 
and Education projects had 5.8 and 6 per cent respectively; and 
Writing projects had 7.2 per cent. The proportion of supervisory 
employees on all WPA projects at this time was 4.1 per cent. 

Employment data, by state, March. 1941. The distribution 
of WPA. library project employment among the states and certain 
employment relationships within each state are presented in Table 
4. This table, in which the states are arranged according to the 
total number of persons employed on library projects, shows 
clearly the extent to which employment on this type of work relief 
was concentrated in certain of the larger states during the month 
of March, 1941. 

Three states, according to this table, then had more than 
2,000 WPA library workers each. Twelve had from one to one hun- 
dred. Two had none at all* More Important, however, is the fact 
that well over half of the total personnel on library projects 


was concentrated in the nine states employing more than 1,000 

^U.S. Work Projects Administration, Statistical Summary 
of WPA Community Service Programs. March, 1941 (Washington; Work 
Projects Administration, 1941), p. 4. 

Texas, Illinois, Ohio, California, North Carolina, 
Massachusetts, New Jersey, Minnesota, and New York* 




WPA Library Project Personnel 



Number in Each 
Wage Status^ 

As Per Cent of 

No. of 




On All 




Ohio .... 
Calif. .. 
Mass. ... 
N.v. .... 
Minn. ... 






2.4 ' 

Mi oh. . . . 
Ofcla. ... 
Ind. .... 

Miss. ... 

Tfy. ..... 

Ala. .... 


V.Va. ... 
Colo. ... 
Tenn. ... 
Wash. ... 



N.D. . 
S.D. . 
Ore. . 

R.I. . 
D.G. . 


TABLE 4 Continued 


WPA Library Project Personnel 

No. of 

Number in Each 
Wage Status 

As Per Cent of 




On All 



Me. . 


















a The data for this table were supplied by the Statistical 
Division of the WPA. 

b Wage Status refers to the two WPA payroll' classifications; 
"Project Wage" (relief workers) and "Project Supervisory" (non- 
relief supervisory or administrative employees). 

persons on library work relief. 

With minor exceptions, library project employment appears 
to have been distributed in accord with the total population of 
the individual states. How closely this pattern was followed is 
suggested by the fact that a rank order relationship of +.9045 
exists between this distribution of library project employment 
and the population of the various states, according to. the 1940 

Minnesota (18th in population but 8th in the number of 
its library project employees) and South Carolina (26th in popu- 
lation but 13th in library project employment) are the outstand- 
ing examples of states with more project assistance than they 

All rank order correlations in this study are based on 
the Spearman formula: o 1 C(P 2 )/N(N 2 -1) > where ? is the 
coefficient of correlation, D is the difference between -the ranki 
of each state on the two groups of data, and N is the numbtr of 
states. Herbert Arkin and Raymond R. Colt on, An Outline of Sta- 
tistical Methods (Hew York: Barnes and Noble, 1938) , p. 88. 

would have received on a strict population basis. 

Pennsylvania (2d in population but 21st in number of li- 
brary project employees) and Tennessee (15th in population but 
28th in library project employment) are the two states with the 
smallest number of workers in proportion to their populations. 

Three other categories of data in Table 4 provide addi- 
tional rough measures of the relative importance or strength of 
the library assistance program in the various states. They are 
the ratio of supervisors to total project personnel, and the ra- 
tios of library project employment to the total employment on 
Community Service Programs activities, and to the total employ- 
ment on all VPA projects. 

It has been noted that in March, 1941, 3.8 per cent of 
the employees of the library program were working in supervisory, 
non-relief capacities. In individual states this proportion gen- 
erally ranged from 2.5 to 5 per cent, with a few exceptions caused 
by peculiar local conditions. 

The Division of Community Service Programs Is a WPA ad- 
ministrative unit embracing such cultural and domestic projects 
as Education, Recreation, Museum, Art, Music, Writing, Research 
and Records, Sewing, School Lunches, and Training Housekeeping 
Aides. Since each state director of this division has consider- 
able power over the development of all of these activities, the 
ratio of library project employment to the total employment in 
this division provides a rough measure of the relative emphasis 
given to the library program In any state. For the nation as a 
whole library projects accounted for 5.5 per cent of all employ- 
ment on Community Service Programs in March, 1941. In Individual 
states this proportion ranged from zero in two states without li- 
brary projects to 10.5 per eent in Minnesota and 11*8 per cent 
in North Carolina. 

The ratio of library project employment to total WPA em- 
ployment during the month selected for analysis was 1.5 per cent 
for the nation. Among Individual states It ranged from zero to 
3.3 per cent, with North Carolina again the high state. 

Library employment under the NYA. Library employment 
supported by the National Youth Administration was carried on 
under two distinct part-time work programs, the "Out -of -School 
Work Program 11 and the "Student Work Program," Separate records 
on library employment are kept only for the Gut -of -School Work 

Program. These figures appear in Table 2 (p. 48). 

According to these reports, NYA library project employ- 
ment under the Out-of-School Work Program reached its all-time 
peak of 8,878 during 1937. 5 During 1938 this program had an av- 
erage employment of 6,500 youth. In 1939 and 1940 its personnel 
fluctuated with the seasonal need from 3,500 to 6,500 workers. 
In 1941, however, as the NYA began to expand its program of train- 
ing for defense Industries, it rapidly restricted its library ac- 
tivities, so that by August barely 1,400 library project employ- 
ees were left. By the end of the year there were indications 
that, like the WPA, the NYA might have to reorient its entire 
program around the war effort, if its existence were to be con- 

The distribution among the states of employment on NYA 
Out-of-School library projects has been extremely uneven. For 
example, in February, the peak month for such employment in 1941, 
one- third of the states had no NYA library employees at all, and 
over one-half of the total personnel of 5,521 was centered in New 
York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Missouri. New York alone had 
1,340 youths engaged in this part-time library work during that 

Unfortunately, separate records have not been kept to 
show the extent of library service rendered by participants in 
the NYA's Student Work Program. According to an official esti- 
mate based on a sampling of the entire personnel of this program, 
over 57,000 individuals were performing part-time library work 
under Its auspices during February, 1941. 

Summary on library project employment. The true magni- 
tude of library project employment la perhaps best understood 
when the aggregate data of Table 2 are related to the nation's 
total library personnel. 

Before the Inauguration of federal work programs there 
were approximately 30,000 "Librarians and Library Assistants" in 

All data on NYA library employment was obtained through 
direct correspondence with the Director of the organization. 

6 Letter from Aubrey Williams, NYA Admin lit rat or, December 
1, 1941. 


the United States. 7 (This figure is probably somewhat low, but 
is the best estimate available.) At the peak, of its expansion 
the WPA alone was employing a total of 38,324 full-time persons on 
library and book repair projects; and at their peak NYA Out-of- 
School library work projects were employing almost 9,000 youth on 
a part-time basis. When to these workers the more than 50,000 
part-time NYA student library assistants are added, some concep- 
tion is gained of the tremendous Increase in personnel and man- 
hours of library work which these programs have made possible. 
In spite of seasonal fluctuations anil in spite of the ambiguity 
of the phrase "part-time" as applied to NA youth, it seems en- 
tirely safe to say that one effect of the various federal work 
programs has been to more than double the number of persons en- 
gaged (either part- or full-time) in library work in the United 

Expenditures on WPA Library Projects 

The scope and quality of any public service is usually 
directly associated with the amount of money applied to its devel- 
opment. Statistics on the total cost of WPA library assistance, 
therefore, provide a useful means of determining the relative Im- 
portance of this program to the extension and improvement of the 
nation's library facilities and services. 

The next four sections of this chapter are devoted to the 
presentation and interpretation of expenditures on WPA library 
projects as of the end of the fiscal year 1940-1941. The first 
section deals with the total expenditures on the program through 
June, 1941. A second section treats the cost of project activity 
by states during the year 1940-41. A third section discusses the 
distribution of WPA expenditures on library projects among the 
states in 1940-41 in relation to other factors associated with 
relative need. The fourth section treats regional differences In 
the distribution of WPA library assistance on a similar basis and 
summarizes the importance of these federal expenditures to national 
library development. 

U.S. Office of Education, Statistics of Public. Society, 
and School Libraries. 1929. Bulletin 1930, No. 37 (Washington: 
Ooveroment Printing Office, 1931), p. 8; also U.S. Bureau of the 

Census, Fifteenth Census of the United States: 1930, Population, 
Vol., V .(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1933), p. 20* 


Total Expenditures through June, 1941 

Table 5 presents over-all statistics on the cost of WPA 
library project operation through June, 1941. It shows, in sepa- 
rate columns, not only the total cumulated cost of the program up 
to this date, but also its annual operating expenditures during 
each of the two preceding years. In its four horizontal divisions 
this table also indicates for each period the distribution of to- 
tal project costs by "source^ and "object" of expenditure. 

Before turning to the data themselves, the term "source" 
and "object" the basic categories for statistical breakdowns of 
project expenditures require brief definition. The "source" of 
funds refers to the agencies, organizations, or public bodies from 
which the amounts reported as expenditures have been obtained. 
The two "sources" of funds for the operation of work relief proj- 
ects are "federal" or n WPA, and "sponsor." The meaning of the 
former designation is obvious. The latter refers to the "spon- 
sor's contribution," which consists of (1) funds applied to proj- 
ect use by state or local governments, library authorities, or 
interested organizations, and (2) assigned values of non-cash 
contributions to project operation, such as supervision, office 
space, materials, library quarters, and the use of books owned 
by the sponsor. 

Project expenditures are subdivided by "object" to show 
roughly how they have been spent. Since the WPA is primarily 
concerned with creating employment, the two "objects" between 
which it divides all project costs are "labor" and "non-labor." 
It uses these breakdowns by object to determine which of its va- 
rious programs creates the most useful employment with the least 
expenditure of federal funds for non-labor purposes. In contrast 
with construction projects library activities and other Community 
Service programs rank very high in this regard. 

The total cost of WPA library work relief through June, 
1941, was nearly $120,000,000, according to the third entry in 
column (6) of Table 5. In terms of federal aid, however, the 
faot that the WPA alone spent almost 1 100, 000, 000 on this program 
is the most important single item reported by this table. Simi- 
larly, the faot that during each of the previous two years It 
spent close to $19,000,000 en library assistance activities 


CQ 5 












<D CD E^ 

H 0) 


Amount in 




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tO -*O> 

OtO ^ 
tO CO tO 





tO tO 



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f-CO tO 

cow _ 

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02 to _ 

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toe*- o 

CO -^ CM 

* o o 

02 10 ES 


-02 O 
> O 

tO lOO 

to to 

w c- 

0202 -# 
IS tO tO 



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to is o 

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a a hH 









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fa > C 
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SH 0> 



suggests the Importance of WPA aid as a factor In nation-wide li- 
brary development, since this amount Is almost 40 per oent of the 
sum regularly spent in support of public library service in the 
United States. 8 

Compared with the total expenditure of the WPA for all 
types of projects, $19,000,000 is admittedly not an impressive 
figure. Actually, it represents barely 1.5 per cent of all WPA 
expenditures during the year 1940-41. However, in relation to 
two known facts, (1) that over half of the nation's total public 
library support was concentrated in the ninety-odd cities of over 
100,000 inhabitants 9 and a large share of the remainder was spent 
in smaller cities and towns, and (2) that at the same time less 
than 3,500,000 urban dwellers were without access to libraries, 
while more than 38,000,000 rural residents still had no public 
library service, 10 it is quite possible that, with its known em- 
phasis on service to rural areas, the WPA program has more than 
doubled the amount of money normally spent on rural library serv- 
ice in the United States. 

The breakdown of project expenditures by source reveals 
that from the beginning WPA funds have constituted almost 83 per 
cent of the total cost of the program, according to column (7) 
in Table 5. The ratios for the two preceding years, presented 
in columns (3) and (5), show that, owing to a marked Increase in 
the sponsor's contribution, the WPA's share of the cost was only 
slightly more than 72 per cent in 1940-41. In other words, it 
appears that state and local participation is becoming increas- 
ingly Important in the development of project-assisted services. 

The remainder of Table 5 shows the breakdown of project 
expenditures by object. It Indicates that the WPA has consist- 
ently spent at least 97 per cent of its funds for labor , although 
this proportion is slightly less than its average from 1935 to 
1941. In 1941 the various project sponsors, by greatly inoreaa- 

8 In 1938 the nation spent $51,594,137 on public library 
service, according to statistics published in the ALA Bulletin, 
XXXIII (July, 1939), 515. 


U.S. Bureau of the Census, Financial Statistics of Pities 
over 100,000 Population. 1938 (Washington: Government Printing Of- 
fice, 1941). 

10 ALA Bulletin. XXXIII (July, 1939), 515, 


ing their contributions to non-labor costs of operation, reduced 
the labor portion of their participation from almost 31 per cent 
to barely 18 per cent. In other words, by this time the sponsors 
were devoting more than 80 per cent of their contributions to 
books, quarters, equipment, and supplies needed for project oper- 

The trend indicated by the entire table is one of in- 
creasing non-federal participation and a notable development 
toward a more normal balance between labor and non-labor costs 
of service. 

Expenditures for 1940-41, by State 

This section presents statistics on the -total and per 
capita amounts of WPA funds spent on library activities in each 
state in 1940-41. 

Total library project expenditures. Table 6 reports the 
total cost of library project operation in 1940-41 by source of 
funds. Its arrangement, in order of amounts of federal funds 
spent in each state, readily reveals which states benefited most 
(in gross amounts) from WPA library assistance in that year. 
This table also Indicates for each state what proportion of the 
total operating cost was borne (as "sponsor's contribution") by 
non-federal agencies. Finally, it shows, by state, the relative 
importance of library activity in relation to other Community 
Service projects and in relation to the entire WPA program. 

Column (S) shows clearly Just how WPA library expendi- 
tures were distributed among the states in 1940-41. The range 
in amounts received by individual states is from #1,858,314 (for 
Ohio) down to $700 (for Delaware). The median amount is approxi- 
mately $250,000. 

The faot that over one-third of the total federal expend- 
iture on library projects went to five states (Ohio, Illinois, 
Texas, New Jersey, and California), which received over 
$1,000,000, while more than one-third of the states received less 
than one-tenth of that amount, suggests the extent to which the 
large benefits of the program have been concentrated* It Is of 

i:L The total amount reported in column (S) Is slightly 
less than the total reported in Table 5 because Table 6 Includes 
only the continental United States. 




td S d 

<: o 






** . 

TO -P <D B 
-d -H O Of 
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interest, however, to note that half of the states did receive 
more than $250,000, a sum which, added to existing library reve- 
nues, would constitute a substantial contribution toward the sup- 
port of an adequate program of library service for the entire 

state in a number of instances. 

The geographical distribution of WPA expenditures on 

library projects during 1940-41, by state, is shown graphically 
on a map of the United States, in Figure 4, which requires little 
interpretation. It clearly reveals which of the larger and more 
heavily populated states received the most assistance from the 
WPA library program and which other states received relatively 

Columns (3) and (5) in Table 6 show the relative size and 
Importance of state and local participation in the cost of proj- 
ect operation in each state. The amounts reported, which range 
upwards to over $1,000,000 (in the ease of North Carolina) in- 
clude both cash expenditures and assigned values of other contri- 
butions of the various project sponsors. The total amount of the 
sponsor's contribution to WPA library projects during 1940-41 was 
almost $7,241,953. 

Since the sponsor's contribution consists largely of "new" 
money (funds not previously available for library support) and 
the application of existing book resources and other facilities 
to newly established services, column (3) comprises in a sense a 
measure of the N stimulation 11 effect of the WPA library assistance 
program among the different states. 

Two facts stand out in this tabulation of contributions 
by state-wide project sponsors. First, in spite of the wide 
range in amounts reported for individual states, it appears that 
in almost half of them the sponsor's contribution for the year 
exceeded $100,000. Second, in two states (North Carolina and 


It should be pointed out once again that while this 
study speaks of the "distribution 11 of WPA library funds, it re- 
fers only to that portion of taoh state's total WPA expenditure 
which went toward the support of its library project activities. 
There never has been a "WPA library project fund" for apportion- 
ing library assistance to individual states. All mention of 
project expenditures as "federal aid 11 therefore, refers merely to 
the effect of such expenditures from the point of view of library 
development, not to any intent on the part of the WPA to appor- 
tion any of its funds as federal aid to libraries. 









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Delaware) the non-federal oontrlbut ions were greater than that 
of the WPA itself. 

Column (5) shows that half of the states contributed at 
least 25 per cent of the total cost to the support of their re- 
spective WPA-assisted library work programs. In four states this 
proportion amounted to more than 40 per cent. 

The total cost of library project operation for the year 
appears in column (4). Interestingly enough, the entire program 
for the year 1940-41 cost slightly more than 126,000,000, or al- 
most exactly half of the amount normally spent throughout the na- 
tion in support of public libraries. 13 The range In the cost of 
individual state-wide projects is from a high of almost $2,500,000 
(Ohio) to barely $1,000 (Haine). The median for the group is 

Colmmns (6) and (7) provide a measure of the relative im- 
portance of library activity as a form of work relief in the va- 
rious states. Since the power of emphasizing or limiting this 
type of enterprise in relation to other white-collar projects 
rests largely with State WPA Administrators, the data in these 
columns are clearly indicative of the extent to which the states 
differ in their support of this particular kind of relief work. 

In five states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, 
Minnesota, and Ohio) library projects accounted for more than 10 
per cent of all WPA expenditures on Community Service Programs. 
Throughout the nation this ratio was only 5.6 per cent in 1940- 

Column (7) shows the ratio of library project expenditures 
to the total expenditures of the WPA in each state. For the whole 
United States library services used only 1.2 per cent of all WPA 
funds spent for work relief in 1940-41. In individual states, 
however, the library ratio ranged from barely one-tenth of 1 per 
cent to as high as 3.4 per cent* In six states (North Carolina, 
Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Minnesota) library 
projects received more than 2.5 per cent of all WPA funds* Oddly 
enough, three of these states are not among those whose library 
project expenditures rank highest in relation to other Community 
Service projects. 

Per capita expenditures of WPA funds. In the foregoing 

lg ALA Bullet in . XUIII (July, 1939), 515. 


portion of this section the distribution of WPA library aid has 
been discussed solely in terms of gross amounts. For the purpose 
of studying comparisons in relative benefits received by the va- 
rious states, per capita amounts constitute a more useful measure. 
Table 7, therefore, presents, in rank order, the per capita ex- 
penditures of WPA funds for library project activity in each 







Minnesota. . . . . . 


Kentucky. . * . . . 


New Jersey 


South Dakota* - 




AlRbflfflR* .,..- 


South Carolina* 




Massachusetts. . 
No^th Carolina. 


Rhode Island.. 
Kansas ........ 




Arkansas ...... 


Louisiana T * . . . . 


North Dakota. . 


Texas. * 




Nevada. . 


Oregon. ....... 


Nebraska. ...... 


Arizona. ...... 


Oklahoma* ...... 


Iowa. *.. 


Wisconsin. . . . . 


Maryland. ..... 


Vermont . . . 


New York 




Tennesee* ..... 


California. .... 


Connecticut. . . 








New Hampshire . 


D. C . 





West Virginia.. 
Washington* . . . . 


New Mexico .... 


Virginia* * . 


Delaware .,--- 





Indiana ..**.*... 


U.S. A 


on gross amounts presented in 
column (2) of Table 6. 

Rounded off to two decimal places. The 
rank arrangement of states is based on per capi- 
tas carried to three decimal places. 

atate during 1940-41. According to this table the per capita ex- 
penditure for the entire nation was $.13, and the range was from 
$.28 down to $.001. Four states (Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, 
and South Carolina) received 4.25 per capita or more; and sixteen 

states received less than $.10 per capita in WPA library aid. 

The geographical distribution of library project benefits 
on a per capita basis is. shown on a map of the United States in 
Figure 5. As a measure of the effective differences in relative 
benefits this map gives a truer comparison than the one based on 
total amounts of aid received (see Fig. 4). 

Unfortunately, neither gross nor per capita figures alone 
show accurately which states benefited most in terms of over-all 
gains. These two sets of data must be considered together if the 
distribution is to be seen in proper perspective. This can be 
done "by comparing Tabled 6 and 7 or Figures 4 and 5. For conven- 
ience, however, gross and per capita WPA expenditures for 1940-41 
have been plotted graphically, in close Juxtaposition, by state, 
in Figure 6. In this illustration the states are arranged in 
rank order, according to gross amounts of federal library assist- 
ance received. By comparing the eontour formed by the descending 
amounts of aid represented at the left side of the chart with 
that formed by the per capita data it can be seen at a glance 
that a very slight positive relationship (most noticeable at the 
top and the bottom of the figure) exists between the two groups 
of data. 

The important fact shown by this illustration is that the 
first eight states in gross amounts received also rank near the 
top in per capita benefits from the program, and that the seven 
states receiving the least total assistance also rank very low 
on a per capita basis. 

This figure shows clearly which individual states bene- 
fited most on both bases and which ones rank high in total bene- 
fits but low in per capita amounts reoelvad, or vice versa. Ohio 
and New Jersey certainly gained more than any other states, when 
gross and per capita benefits are considered together. Illinois 
and Texas received unusually large gross benefits but per capita 
grants were proportionately less. New York is a similar, equally 
striking case. Minnesota and South Carolina, oa the other hand, 
while not among the highest states in total benefits, are leading 
beneficiaries of library project assistance when these benefits 
are converted to a per capita basis* At the lower end of the 
range similar examples appear. Vermont and Nevada, states which 
received very little aid compared to the other states, both ap- 
pear to have been quite generously assisted in per oaplta terns. 












d O 

<D to 

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Gross, thousands of dollars | | -~- Per capita; cents 
250 500 750 1000 1250 1500 1750 2000 1 25 20 15 10 5 


DM n 















National / 
Per Capita 

















Pig. 6. Comparison between gross and per capita WPA 
expenditures on library projects In 1940-41.* 

*Source: Based on data presented in Tables 7 and 8. 


The Distribution of WPA Library Assistance among 
the States, in Relation to Other Factors 

The degree of adequacy with which WPA library assistance 
has been distributed could be determined accurately only by com- 
paring its distribution with some objective index of relative 
need for federal library aid of the sort rendered by this pro- 
gram. Unfortunately no such measure which considers both the li- 
brary and the work relief needs of the various states has been 
developed. In the absence of such a device, therefore, this 
study attempts to characterize the distribution of WPA library 
project benefits by relating its pattern to selected factors 
closely associated with differences in existing library need. 

The method by which these relationships are established 
is that of rank order correlation between the distribution of 
WPA library assistance in 1940-41 and each of the measures used. 
The rank order method of relating two sets of data (referred to 
with reference to the Spearman formula in a footnote on p. 54) 
admittedly does not show the exact relationship of their respec- 
tive Individual values, since it is entirely a correlation of 
position or rank when the data are arranged according to magni- 
tude. In the present instance, however, where several such re- 
lationships are studied comparatively, the correlation clearly 
shows which of the measures are most closely associated with 
differences in library project benefits. 

The five factors, or rough measures of relative need, 
ability, and effort, are: (1) population, (2) the number of peo- 
ple without library service (which are related to gross amounts 
of WPA library assistance), (3) per capita "Suggested Federal 
Grants/ 1 (4) per capita income payments, and (5) per capita li- 
brary support (which are correlated with per capita program bene- 
fits). 14 Only one of these factors, the schedule of "Suggested 

14 Population is for 1940, as reported by the Sixteenth 
Census of the United States: 1940. 

Pop, without; ALA Bulletin. XXXIII (July, 1939), 515. 
"Suggested Federal Grants" is a proposed program for 
federal aid to libraries based on differences in need. It is 
taken, from: Carleton B. Joeckel, Library Service (Washington: 
Government Printing Office, 1938 }~ (Staff Study No. 11. Pre- 
pared for the Advisory Committee on Education), p. 85. 

Per capita income payments are for 1940, as reported by 


Federal Grants" (which is more fully described on p. ?6 ) can be 
considered a true measure of relative library need in terms of 
federal aid. However, as factors or elements which would have to 
be used in developing any future equitable formula for apportion- 
ing funds for library development, the other so-called measures 
provide a useful framework against which the effectiveness of the 
present program of library assistance can be profitably studied. 

In Tables 8 and 9 the statistics on WPA library assist- 
ance and on each of the other factors, together with the rank or- 
der numbers of the states for each factor, are presented as a 
basis for considering these relationships. Table 8 is concerned 
with gross amounts only, and is arranged according to total li- 
brary project benefits received by each state. Table 9 presents 
per capita data on project expenditures, relative need, ability, 
and effort, and, similarly, is arranged according to per capita 
benefits received by the Individual states. 

Comparison of WPA library expenditures with population.-- 
Gross or total population Is a very simple and rather obvious 
measure of relative need for library aid. However, since it does 
not reveal differences in existing library facilities, library 
support, tax-paying ability, and unit coats of various kinds of 
service, it cannot be used alone as an accurate index of library 
need. Nevertheless, because there is generally a direct and pos- 
itive relationship between the cost of library service and the 
number of people to be served, population does constitute at 
least a rough measure against which the distribution of WPA li- 
brary benefits can be studied. 

In columns (2) and (3) of Table 8 statistics on gross , 
WPA expenditures on library projects and population are presented. 
Columns (5) and (6) show the rank of the Individual states on 
these same factors. By inspection it can be seen that there is 
a pronounced, positive relation, state by state, between popula- 
tion and the amounts received in VPA funds as library assistance. 
Actually i the rank order correlation of these two sets of data 
Is +. 9092, which, In statistical terms, indicates a "very close" 

the U.S. Department of Commerce, Survey of Current Business. 
August, 1941, Table 3, p. 14. 

Per capita library support Is for 1938 (using 1940 popu- 
lation and expenditures reported i,n ALA Bulletin. XXXIII (July, 
1939), 515. 






Amounts (in Thousands) 

Rank Order 




'38 Pop. 



'38 Pop. 


$ 1,858 










Tex. . . . . 


Calir. ... 
Mas s 


Mich,* . 

La . 



Ind. . . . . * 


Ky ...... 


Mo . ...... 



W. Va. ... 


Ark . . 


Kan . . . . 

Colo . 

DC . 

Conn. . . . . 
xt .L * 
Mont * . 


Vt. ...... 
Ariz . . , . . 




TABLE 8 Continued 


Amounts (In Thousands) 

Rank Order 



'38 Pop. 



'38 Pop. 


$ 13 













table . 

a See footnote no. 14 on p. 71 for sources of data in this 
Item omitted because its value is less than $1,000. 

degree of association. In fact, it appears that in general 
(whether by chance or by deliberate intent) the distribution of 
WPA library assistance during 1940-41 was essentially on a popu- 
lation basis. 

The reasons for this close degree of association are not 
difficult to explain. The determination of each state's allot- 
ment of WPA funds for its entire work relief program was based 
largely on population and estimated unemployment loads* There- 
fore, except for variations among the states in relative emphasis 
upon library projects as a type of white-collar work relief, 
benefits from the library assistance program would naturally tend 
to be roughly proportionate to state populations. 

The outstanding exceptions to this pattern of distribu- 
tion can be seen by comparing columns (5) and (6) in this table. 
Among the states receiving far more than might be expected on 
this basis are Minnesota (eighth in project benefits but eight- 
eenth in population) and South Carolina (thirteenth in benefits 
received but tventy-iixth in population). In contrast, New York, 
first in population, Is ninth in library project expenditure!, 
and Pennsylvania, second in population, is nineteenth in library 

16 A. V. Maomahon, J. D. Millett, and GHadys Ogden, The 
Administration of Federal Work: Relief (Chioago: Publio Admlnistra- 
tien Service, 1041), p. 223. 


assistance. Even more striking, perhaps, than these exceptions 
to the general pattern of distribution is the fact that in actual 
amounts of money Ohio, with less than half the population of New 
York State, received more than twice as much WPA library assist- 
ance during 1940-41. 

Comparison of WPA library expenditures with the number of 
people without library service. A more nearly accurate measure 
of differences among the states in relative need from the point 
of view of federal library aid is the number of people still 
without free public library service in each state. Statistics on 
the population of unserved areas in every state were published 
for the year 1938 in July, 1939. 16 These figures, together with 
rank order numbers of the states on this basis, appear in columns 
(4) and (7) respectively, in Tabl$ 8. 

By comparing columns (5) and (7) the two sets of rank 
order numbers it can be seen that the relationship between li- 
brary project bene/its and population without libraries is posi- 
tive, but much less close than with the total population of each 
state. The actual rank order correlation in this case is +.5334, 
indicating a "marked" degree of association. This is explained 
by the fact that (with exceptions such as Massachusetts, Califor- 
nia, New Jersey, and Ohio) states with large populations and 
large relief loads also tend to have large numbers of people with- 
out access to libraries. It may be said, therefore, that to a 
considerable degree the states receiving the most extensive li- 
brary assistance from the WPA in 1940-41 were those with large 
unserved populations. 

Comparison of WPA library assistance with economic meas- 
ures, on a -per capita basis. Since both the amounts of WPA ex- 
penditure* on library activities and various factors associated 
with need naturally tend to increase with the size and population 
of the states, rank order correlations between project benefits 
and these other factors tend to show positive degrees of associa- 
tion when computed in terms of gross or absolute figures. For 
this reason the relationship between the distribution of WPA 11- 

16 ALA Bulletin. XXXIII (July, 1939), 515. 

correlation of gross project benefits with income 
is +.8278, while it is +.7651 with ""Suggested Bederaji Grants" and 
+.6184 with total library support. 


brary assistance and economic measures of need is considered only 
on a per capita basis. 

Table 9 presents per capita WPA expenditures on library 
projects in juxtaposition with per capita "Suggested Federal 
Grants, 11 per capita income, and per capita library support. The 
data are arranged according to the per capita benefits received 
from the WPA library program. The rank order of the states for 
each of these factors appears in columns (6) through (9). 

"Suggested Federal Grants" refers to a proposed pattern 
for distributing federal aid for library development In relation 
to need. Published in 1938 under the heading "A Working Schedule 
of Grants to Libraries," 18 it is the only such measure that has 
been devised specifically in terms of federal library aid. The 
amounts suggested under this plan Include; (1) an equalization 
grant based on an annual library program of $.60 per capita for 
each state, (2) an additional $.10 per capita for the rural popu- 
lation of each state, and (3) a stimulation allotment equal to 
5 per cent of each state's annual expenditures for public library 
service. The total suggested amounts, converted to per capltas 
(according to the 1940 population) appear in column (3) of Table 
9, while the rank order numbers for these amounts are listed in 
column (7). 

By Inspection of columns (6) and (?) it can be seen that 
almost no relationship whatever exists between per capita project 
benefits and this per capita index of relative need. The rank 
order correlation between these two factors is only +.1575. 

Per capita income payments, Including net salaries and 
wages, other labor Income, entrepreneurial income, and dividends 
and interest also provide, in terms of total potential ability 
to support public services, including libraries, a rough index 
of relative need for federal library aid. If existing library 
facilities and per capita expenditures for library service in the 
various states were proportionate to their per capita income, then 
the latter would comprise an excellent inverse measure of relative 
need* Actually, per capita income alone, while useful in compar- 
ing the states on the basis of ability, is not an accurate index 


Joeokel, op cit.. p. 85. 

U.S. Department of Commerce, Survey of Current Business, 
op> pit. 




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of need for federal aid. 

Per capita income payments for 1940 are presented in col- 
umn (4) of Table 9; and the rank order of the states are listed 
in column (8). If the distribution of WPA library assistance had 
been made on the basis of need there would be a close Inverse re- 
lationship between the per capita income of the various states 
and per capita benefits received. Actually, there is almost no 
relation whatever between these two factors, for the rank order 
coefficient of correlation is only -.0418. 

Per capita library support, presented in column (5), is 
included in Table 9 as a measure of the differences among the 
states In existing library facilities. Since it is not related 
to economic ability, it is not a true measure of relative effort; 
but it does show clearly which states are already giving strong 
support to public libraries and which ones are notably weak in 

this regard. The amounts reported here are those for the year 

1938, converted to per capitas by means of 1940 population 


The rank order numbers of the states in per capita library 
support appear in column (9). When these are compared with those 
on library project expenditures no relationship whatever is appar- 
ent. The rank order correlation in this case is even less than 
In the other Instances cited. It Is -.0027. 

Summary. The rank order relationships discussed in this 
section are assembled for convenient comparison in Table 10. On 
the basis of this table the distribution of benefits from WPA li- 
brary project activity in 1940-41 may be characterized as follows: 

In general, gross amounts of WPA library assistance were 
distributed according to population. Therefore! since each 
at ate 'a population is a fair measure of its total need for 
library service, it may be said that gross benefits have in 
fact been apportioned at least roughly in proportion to need. 

Only to a partial (though no less important) extent were 
the total library benefits received by each state proportion- 
ate to differences in specific need In terms of unserved 

On a per oapita basis there is very little relationship 
between library project expenditures and important differences 
in need for library assistance, measured by an objective 


ALA Bulletin, mill (July, 1939), 515. 


schedule of proposed federal grants for libraries. Thus, the 
distribution of library benefits cannot be said to constitute 
a wholly equitable apportionment, from the point of view of 
federal library aid. 

If equalization of library opportunity had determined the 
distribution of WPA library assistance, its apportionment 
would exhibit an inverse correlation with the relative wealth 
or inoome of the various states. In the present instance, 
however, there was almost no relationship whatever either 
positive or negative between library project benefits and 
income, on a per capita basis. 

On the other hand, since only an insignificant relation- 
ship exists between these benefits and library expenditures, 
WPA library assistance was in no sense a program of stimulat- 
ing grants, allocated in proportion to the support of exist- 
ing library service. 

In ge'neral, this federal aid for library development, like 
other benefits from WPA assistance, appears to have been dis- 
tributed among the states primarily according to differences 
in population and work relief loads. 



Factors Compared Correlation 

Gross WPA expenditures and population .... +.91 

Gross WPA expenditures and number of 

people without library service +.53 

Per capita WPA expenditures and per capita 

suggested federal grants +.16 

Per capita WPA expenditures and 1940 per 

capita income payments -.04 

Per capita WPA expenditures and 1938 per 

capita library support -.003 

'*Based on data in Tables 8 and 9. 

Rank order coefficients computed by the Spearman 
formula and rounded, off to two places. 

Regional Differences in the Distribution 
of WPA Library Assistance 

The final analysis of WPA library assistance as federal 
aid concerns the extent to which the different regions of the 
United States benefited from the program during 1940-41 in rela- 


tion to relative need. The regions used are the Southeast, the 
Northeast, the Midwest, the Horthwest, the Southwest, and the Par 
West, as defined by H. W. Oduia. These regions are compared ac- 
cording to the same factors used in studying the distribution of 
project benefits among the states. Table 11 presents statistics 
on each of these factors on a regional basis. 

From this table it can be seen that the eight states com- 
prising the Midwest region received more than one-third of all 
WPA funds spent on library projects that year, although it has 
barely one-third of the nation's population and barely one-fifth 
of the people without library service. In contrast, the South- 
east, with more than one-third of the nation 1 s unserved popula- 
tion, received less than one-fourth of the total library assist- 
ance provided by the WPA. 

In average per capita amounts received the Midwest also 
leads the rest of the nation (with benefits amounting to $.17). 
However, on this basis the Southeast and the Par West (with aver- 
age benefits of $.15 per capita) appear to have fared nearly as 

Perhaps the pattern of regional differences in library 
project benefits can be characterized most simply by comparing 
the amounts actually received in each region with the sum each 
would receive according to the "Suggested Federal Grants" formula. 
This schedule is the only published measure of library need in 
terms of federal aid; and the fact that its total recommended al- 
lotment is nearly equal to the WPA's total expenditure on library 
projects in 1940-41 makes the direct comparison of amounts possi- 
ble and strikingly revealing. 

Regional library project benefits and suggested federal 
grants for libraries are presented for comparison ia Table 12, 
and are shown graphically on a map of the United States in Figure 
7. From this table it can be seen that the Midwest received more 
than four million dollars more in library assistance from the WPA 
than It would have according to the suggested schedule, while the 
Southeast received almost $5,000,000 less than this schedule rec- 
ommended* Figure 7 also shows clearly how much more certain 
parts of the nation benefited than others. It shows, for example, 

21 H. W. Odum, Southern Regions of the United States 
(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1936). 








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i - - 


at at 

4* 4 

at o o 

o at 





to w _ 

H O O 

o & 


XX O ^ 


M S 


<i> J3 
<n s 



o o *d 

-^ e B 

o 01 o 


rHO - 

a *-i 
o o 

4 4 BQ 

e & 


OlrH & 

4: s 


%4 > O 

O rH <*H 

- M ^5 



Region I 





H 03 
> fc 


<D m 


O 0) 

tj h 
G 0) 
03 CO 


43 0) 



<D a 

^ a 

S <D 09 
O > 
DQ Oh 





(In Thousands of Dollars: 000 Omitted) 


on Library 

Grants for 

(+ or -) 
(2) and (3) 

I Southeast . . . 

$ 4,267 

$ 9,265 


II Northeast... 
Ill Midwest 

6 451 

2 182 

+ 1,876 
+ 4. PfiQ 

IV Northwest... 



+ 285 

V Southwest. . . 




VI Far West 



+ 942 

United States... 




a Souroe: The WPA data are those of Table 6, column (2), 
summarized by region. The "Suggested Grants" are the amounts re- 
ported in C. B. Joecfcel, Library Service (Washington: Government 
Printing Office, 1938), p. 85. 

The differences, in column (4), show how much more or 
less than the amount suggested in the federal aid proposal each 
region actually received: in library project benefits. 

that all four of the northern regions received more than they 
would have under the federal grants proposal, while both of the 
southern regions received considerably less. This map also shows 
that three-fourths of all WPA library assistance was concentrated 
in the eastern half of the country. Finally, it shows at a 
glance that the Midwest received almost three times as much bene- 
fit from library projects as the amount proposed on the basis of 
need; the Northeast received almost twice as much as its suggested 
allotment; while the Southeast received less than half the amount 
it would have obtained according to this federal aid formula. 

In conclusion, it can be aaid that the importance of WPA 
assistance as an experiment in federal aid for library develop- 
ment varied greatly from state to state and from region to region. 
Without a definite plan for apportioning the benefits of this 
type of work relief, their distribution tended to reflect differ- 
ences in^ population and thus only indirectly to reach areas of 

greatest library need. 

The development of strong project activity in individual 
states appears to have been conditioned further by two other fac- 
tors* These are the status of existing library development (the 
organization, government, and leadership in libraries throughout 
the state, including the state library agency), and the popular 
attitude or predisposition toward free public library service as 
a necessary function of state and local government. In other 
words, states in which an active and alert state library organi- 
zation was prepared to take full advantage of the opportunity 
presented by VPA aid and states in which the citizens at large 
were interested in extending and improving library service on a 
state-wide basis naturally benefited from this program proportion- 
ately more than states with little prior library activity or in- 

As an ideal program for federal aid, WPA library assist- 
ance admittedly leaves much to be desired. Nevertheless, as an 
undertaking primarily concerned with the relief of unemployment 
and only incidentally with the Improvement of library service, it 
constitutes a most interesting and important experiment in the ad- 
ministration of federal aid for library development. 

Library Construction on Federal Work Programs 

Since the construction and repair of libraries has been 
an important contribution of federal work programs, a summary of 
this construction Is presented in Tables 13, 14, and 15, although 
the data are admittedly not complete. At best they can only be 
said to include the majority of buildings reported under the gen- 
eral category entitled "Libraries." Many buildings reported 
under other headings (schools, courthouses, city halls, and col- 
lege departmental buildings) contain library quarters. For exam- 
ple, although the PVA if credited with only 113 library building 

projects in Table 13, it has financed the construction of some 


1,800 libraries in public schools, and at least 60 college or 

university libraries not represented in the table. 

2E trS. Publio Works Administration, America Builds (Wash- 
ington; Ok>vernent Printing Office, 1939), p. 132. 

e3 tT.S. Public Works Administration, Allotments for Educa- 
tional Building Construction . . . . (Washington: Public Works 
Administration/ 1939). 





1933-1941 a 


Number of Buildings 

Total for 
Each Agency 

New Construction 



New Bldgs 


















Total for 





Sources: U.S. Works Progress Administration, Government 
Aid during the Depression to Professional. Technical, and Other 
Service Workers (Washington; Works Progress Administration, 1936) , 
p. 68; U.S. Public Works Administration, Allotments for Educa- 
tional Building Construction . . . . (Washington: Public Works 
Administration, 1939); U.S. President, Report of the President 
... Showing the Status of Funds and Operations under the 

Emergency Relief 

ropriation Acts 

as of December 

(Washington: Government Printing Office, January, 1942), p. 

31; and a letter from Aubrey Williams, NYA Administrator, Decem- 
ber 1, 1941. 

Covers the period April 1, 1934 to June 1, 1935, but 
cannot be added to the other data since some buildings included 
were completed as WPA projects and are recorded as WPA achieve- 


Includes 11 buildings still under construction in June, 

It is unfortunate that complete data on the location, 
type, specifications, and cost of each library building project 
since 1933 are not available. Such information, together with 
similar data on libraries constructed without federal assistance, 
would make it possible to show the government's contribution in 
its proper proportions. Moreover, it would permit graphic presen- 
tation of nation-wide physical library development, showing the 


location and type of all buildings erected with PWA, WPA, or NYA 
help. The total number of new libraries and additions constructed 
under each program, however, is available by state, and Is pre- 
sented, state by state, in Table 14. 





PWA b 



Alabama. . . . ^ * . 









Arkansas .--.. 












Connecticut* .. 
Delaware .*... 




Dist. of Col.. 





Georgia* *... 









Illinois ....%. 




Indiana* ...* 




Iowa* .*..* 




Kansas . * r . t r * . 




Kentucky* ...*, 





Louisiana* * . 







Maryland* ..... 





Massachusetts . 





. > 

Minnesota* . 









Montana. ...... 







Nevada . * 



New Hampshire. 
New Jersey. . . . 
New Meal co*. . . 
New York 








North Carolina 
North Dakota.. 







ftfclfthrtBHI t . * . . 



Oregon *.. 



* * 

Pennsylvania. . 
Rhode Island. . 
South Carolina 
South Dakota. . 
Texas > ........ 









. . 







TABLE 14 Continued 



PWA b 










Washington* . . 
West Virginia. 
Wisconsin . . . 







Wyoming. .*... 



Unassigned. ... 







Sources: PWA data from Public Works Administra- 
tion, Allotments for Educational Building Construction 
(1939); WPA and NYA data supplied by those agencies on 

Includes 3 renovation projects. Does not in- 
clude New York City. 

The PWA alone has compiled and published a list of Its 
individual building projects, identifying each by location and 

type and giving financial Information showing the federal gov- 


ernment's share in its cost. Based on this publication the 
data on public library construction under the PWA is presented 
by state in Table 15 and Figure 8, According to this summary, 
library facilities representing a total expenditure of almost 
$13, 000, 000 were constructed in 39 states. Over $5,000,000, or 
approximately 40 per cent of the cost, was supplied by outright 
grants of federal funds. 

Summarizing the data on library building projects under 
the various work programs, it can be said that they have been 
responsible for the erection of at least 400 new libraries or ad- 
ditions and the renovation or repair of almost 1,500 others. 
Furthermore, although statist leal evidence on the point la lack- 
ing, it would appear that most of the library construction since 
1933 throughout the nation has benefited to a greater or lesser 
degree from federal financial assistance. 

24 U,S. Public Works Administration, Allotments for Edu- 
cational Building Construction . . . . , op. cit. 


H 03 

ra t> 

o ID 

R & 




-P -v 

a q 
H o 











H a 



d-P O 
O M 




1933-1941 a 



Total Cost 


Sponsor ' s 


AlaToftiflftT ..,,. 


$ 25,000 

$ 11,250, 

# 13,750 

52. o 

Arizona. ...... 

California. . . . 


Connecticut. . * 

Dist.of Col. . 

G-eorgla. ...... 






45. K 
44. 7 b 



Indiana. ...... 

Iowa. ......... 

Kansas t ,.. r .. T 

Kentucky. ... * 




Mississippi. . . 







Montana* . * > - - r 

Nebraska. ..... 






Nevada ........ 

New Hampshire. 
Nev Jersey. . . * 
New Mexico. . .. 
New York 









39.3 rt 
45. O x 
66. 8* 

North Carolina 
North Dakota. * 

Oklahoum. > . * . . 

Oregon ........ 


South Carolina 






Tennessee . . . . 



134, 190^ 


45. 0^ 


Vermont ...**. 


Washington. . .. 
West Virginia. 


TABLE 15 Continued 



Total Cost 




Wisconsin. . . . 






Total . . . 



$5, 525, 974 


a Source: U.S. Public Works Administration, Allotments 
for Educational Building Construction . . . (Washington; G-ov- 
ernment Printing Office, 1939). 

^Includes a loan as veil as an allotment. 

Data for New Zork City not included in this report. 

Selected Aspects of Library Project 

Since 1936 federal work programs hare issued reports shov- 

ing their "progress" and enumerating some of their more 


ing achievements. However, these publications rarely offer 
much information on library project activity. Obvious reasons 
for this lack are the relative insignificance of these projects 
compared to the rest of the program and their failure to achieve 
a status of their own during the early years of work relief. 
Equally important reasons, however, are the difficulties encoun- 
tered in obtaining uniform accomplishment reports. 

It is a simple matter to report construction achievements, 
in terms of buildings erected, highways* paved or sewers laid. 
Similarly, the so-called "production" projects can readily report 
accomplishment, In terms of garments made, amount of food canned, 
mattresses sewed, or publications Issued. Library projects, on 
the other hand, present an entirely different problem, for their 

Program , Jam 

Works Progress Administration, Report on the Works 
15, 1936; Report on Progress of the Works Pro- 


March 15, April 15, June 15, July 15. 

August 15, October 16. December 15, March, 1937, June. December; 
Report on Progress of the WPA Program,. June 30. 1938, June 30, 
1959, June 50. 1940; Inventory. An Appraisal of tnTHesulta of 
the Works Progress Administration, 1938; U.S. Federal Works 
Agency, First Annual Report. 1940; U.S. Public Works Administra- 
tion, America Builds. The Record of the PWA. 1939. (All of these 
publications appear with a Washington imprint, as government docu- 
ments. ) 


most valuable results frequently cannot be reported in simple, 
quantitative terms. Nevertheless, for the most part, such 
achievements on library projects as have been published have been 
confined to the tabulation of readily measurable categories of 
data, such as book stock, number of lending units, number of vol- 
umes cataloged, number of libraries assisted, gross circulation, 
books repaired, or volumes transcribed into Braille. Moreover, 
great differences among the states in reporting methods render 
unreliable most of the early efforts to present statistics on 
nation-wide library project accomplishment. 

The "production" aspects of the WPA library assistance 
program naturally lend themselves most readily to reporting in 
uniform quantitative terms. According to the latest information 
available, their cumulated achievement is as follows: Through 
June, 1941, WPA project workers had repaired and put back into 
circulation 98,622,000 volumes belonging to public or school li- 
braries. 26 By the end of 1940 they had typed almost 40,000,000 

book catalog cards. By the end of 1939 they had transcribed 

almost 4,000,000 pages for Braille books for the blind. 28 

Since WPA library service projects are administratively 
responsible only to state WPA officials, they have not been re- 
quired to report regularly to the Library Service Section in 
Washington. The only nation-wide data on library project accom- 
plishment, therefore, have had to be assembled by requesting spe- 
cial compilations from the individual states. One such request 
for a special report on library projects was sent out by the Li- 
brary Service Section at the end of 1939* Its findings were pub- 
lished in the American Library Association Bulletin early in 

PQ .... 

1940. * During the latter half of 1941 the section was authorized 

U.S. President, Report . . : -. to the Congress Showing 
the Status of Funds and Operations under the Emergency Relief Ap- 
propriation Acts . as of December 31, 1941 (Washington; 
G-overnment Printing Office, January, 1942), p. 32. 

U.S. Work Projects Administration, Statistical Summary 

ft WPA Community Service Programs. March. 1941 (Washington; Work 
rejects Administration, 1941), p. 9. 

28 U.S. Federal Works Agency, First Annual Report. 1940 
(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1940), p. 444* 

29 Edward A. Chapman, "W.P.A. Library Demonstrations Serve 
Millions of Readers/ ALA Bulletin. XXXIV (April, 1940), 225-31. 


to solicit from each state a quarterly report on "library service 
activities," providing information on twenty-six different 
items. 30 The first returns from this new inquiry, covering the 
period July through September, 1941, were made available to this 
study, and constitute the latest information to be had on the 
scope and achievement of WPA library service projects. 

According to the special report compiled at the. end of 
1939 31 there were then 40 state-wide library projects in opera- 
tion, serving an estimated population of 11,000,000 persons 
through 4,652 individual lending units (not Including the thou- 
sands of deposit stations and bookmobile stops) and 422 cwnty 
library systems. The supervisory personnel for these projects 
totaled 527 persons, including 173 trained librarians and 95 of 
subprofessional grade. The book stock used in these projects was 
incompletely reported to be over 6,000,000 volumes, including 
265,000 purcnased with WPA funds. Mobile lending units Included 
160 bookmobiles, half of which were purchased or rented by the 
WPA. The amount of cash contributed by sponsors during 1939 for 
new books was reported as almost $600,000; and amounts contributed 
by Individual counties ranged from a few hundred to several thou- 
sand dollars. Unfortunately, replies to this first questionnaire 
were not uniformly complete, so the findings, while suggestive of 
the scope of the program, do not accurately represent its full 
magnitude . 

The new report form which was used to gather library data 


covering the third quarter of 1941 was designed with the objec- 
tive of gathering regular, uniform statistics on library project 
operation from each of the states. According to a preliminary 
tabulation of its first returns, it presents the following account 
of project development. 

During the period covered over half of the counties In 
the United States were receiving library assistance from WPA proj- 

U.S. Work Projects Administration, "Instructions for 
the Preparation of DSS Form 45, Report of Library Service Activi- 
ties . . . ." (Commissioner's Letter No. 22, July 21, 1941). 


Ohapman, op. olt. 

32 U.S. Work Projects Administration, "DBS Form 45. u 
(Mimeographed. ) 


ects. The total number of counties reported was 1,706, including 
365 library service systems (composed of central depositories, 
and branches, stations, or bookmobile stops) operated by the WPA. 
Of these systems 343 were single county units, while 22 were re- 
gional, providing library service to 71 different counties. In 
approximately half of the county systems various sponsors and lo- 
cal groups have pledged to contribute at least $1,000 a year to 
the library project. In many counties several times this amount 
is actually contributed. 

In addition to the library systems reported above, the 
WPA also operates some 2,664 "independent" libraries units not 
affiliated with a county or regional library system and assists 
4,526 previously existing libraries in expanding their services 
with project workers. Other items which indicate the scope of 
WPA-operated rural library services are the 3,467 deposit stations 
reported and the 180 mobile units which circulate books regularly 
at 11,227 stops. 

Finally, to complete the record, three other types of in- 
formation were reported. The first, "books available for circu- 
lation, 11 totaled almost 8,000,000 volumes for all WPA-operated 
units. The second, "population served/ a figure based on a pre- 
liminary survey of service areas, using the 1940 census data, In- 
cluded almost 14,000,000 persons. Inasmuch as WPA library assist- 
ance has emphasized the development of library facilities in un- 
served areas, It is probable that a large proportion of these 
14,000,000 people constitute persons heretofore without public li- 
brary service. In other words, it has probably provided some 
service to approximately one-fourth of the 42,000,000 people re- 
ported (see Table 8, p. 73) to be without access to libraries in 
1938. The third, representing the use of the service in terms of 
individual loans, reported a total circulation of 5,684,135 books 
and over 500,000 periodicals during the three-month period. 

Summary and Conclusion 

This chapter ha a undertaken to present and to Interpret 
the available statistics regarding the scope, character, and 
achievement of the various federal emergency work programs that 
have benefited libraries and library development* From the evi- 
dence presented it appears that, regardless of varied opinions as 


to the desirability of library work relief, the results of these 
programs, in terms of amounts and kinds of assistance rendered, 
are distinctly impressive. 

During 1938-39, the peak year of library project activity, 
the WPA and the NYA together more than doubled the total number 
of persons (30,000) previously engaged (either part- or full- 
time) in library work in the United States. In the six-year pe- 
riod ending in 1941 the WPA alone had spent in behalf of library 
service more than twice the amount ($51,000,000) normally spent 
in support of public libraries throughout the nation; and during 
the year 1940-41 its library assistance program involved the ex- 
penditure of $26,000,000, or approximately half this amount. In 
18 of the states the library project program for this year allo- 
cated more than $500,000 toward the improvement or extension of 
library facilities and services. 

The construction and repair of library buildings also is 
an impressive contribution by the federal government to library 
development. According to the data at present available (based, 
unfortunately, on admittedly incomplete reports), more than 400 
new libraries have been built and almost 1,500 have been renovated 
or repaired by various work programs financed largely with fed- 
eral funds. 

In. the field of book rehabilitation WPA workers alone 
have repaired and put back into service well over 100,000,000 
volumes belonging to public and school libraries since 1935. 

In the extension of library service to new areas the WPA 
assistance program has also achieved impressive results. On its 
state-wide projects it has operated demonstration library service 
in more than 400 counties at once. To further this work it has 
purchased over 250,000 volumes of new books for demonstration 
use, it has assisted approximately 150 counties in obtaining 
bookmobile equipment, and it has employed more than 500 library 
project supervisors, including almost 200 trained librarians, to 
assist existing library authorities in planning and directing li- 
brary development. 

In conclusion, the implications which can be drawn from 
these various library work activities, viewed as an experiment 
in federal aid, may be enumerated specifically as follows: 

1) The library assistance projects of the WPA and the 
NYA, like those of the work agencies which preceded them, were 


seriously limited, as relief undertakings, in the extent to which 
they could fulfill the requirements of an ideal federal aid. pro- 
gram. Their funds benefited the entire nation roughly according 
to the population of the various states, but with little relation 
to known state and regional differences in relative library need. 

2) The experience of these various agencies since 1933 
has shown how work programs, concerned primarily with creating 
widespread employment, can be successfully applied to the devel- 
opment and improvement of library facilities and services and to 
the construction and repair of library buildings. 

3) The nation-wide development of federally-assisted li- 
brary activities has undoubtedly drawn attention to the major ex- 
isting inequalities in library service, and has probably furthered 
the concept of library service as a national and state concern, 

as well as a local responsibility. 

Finally, it is important to note that despite the admitted 
limitations of the program in planning and in technical correct- 
ness library work relief has in fact constituted an experiment in 
federal aid for library development, and that its assistance in 
the aggregate has greatly strengthened and extended the library 
services of the nation. 

The over-all implications of the WPA library assistance 
program are discussed in greater detail in chapter viii, where 
its more obvious limitations and the best features of its adminis- 
trative pattern are considered in relation to the planning of li- 
brary development for the future. 



During the first three years of the WPA there was little 
uniformity of plan, policy, or procedure in its library projects, 
for there was no library co-ordlnator to develop objectives and 
to work out techniques adapting library practice to conditions 
imposed by a work relief program. When in 1938 library projects 
acquired a definite administrative status with the creation of 
the Library -Service Section in Washington, a uniform pattern of 
project organization and procedure was formulated with the Intent 
of focusing WPA library assistance on the increase of permanent, 
tax-supported library service throughout the nation. This pat- 
tern now centers in a series of B state-wlde" library projects 
which operate county or regional library service demonstrations 
aa a means of helping previously unservtd communities to organ- 
ize sound, area-wide library systems by integrating existing li- 
braries and extending their services* It is this program which 
this chapter treats, first as a case study In administration, 
then as a library extension program. Its organization Is de- 
picted as it existed in the spring of 1941, just before all fed- 
eral work relief was seriously curtailed. 

The chapter Is divided Into five major sections. The 
first section presents an analysis of the organization and admin- 
istration of the entire VPA, to provide a frame of reference for 
considering the administration of the state-wide library assist- 
ance program. This section describes each of the various hori- 
zontal and vertical units which comprise the* WA's "lins-and- 
staff" organization, and explains the provision for dual lines 
of authority and responsibility which is characteristic of this 
particular agency. 

A second section discusses the general rules and policies 
of the WPA, since the/ constitute th* basic limitations within 
which library activities, llk all other projects, must operate. 



The third section of the chapter treats the organization 
and administration of the library assistance program, by describ- 
ing the role of the Library Service Section, the objectives and 
characteristics of library work relief, and the operation of a 
state-wide library project. 

The fourth section presents a review and appraisal of the 
WPA library assistance program from two different points of view: 
that of public administration (according to accepted principles 
of administrative organization); and that of llbrarianshlp (ac- 
cording to current library extension practice). 

A brief summary constitutes the fifth and concluding sec- 
tion of the chapter. 

Organization of the WPA 1 

When the new and enlarged federal work program was begun 
in 1935 it was expected that it would be operated largely within 
the framework of existing agencies, such as the Department of 
Agriculture, the PWA, the CCC, and three new bodies created to 
provide assistance for rural families (The Resettlement Adminis- 
tration and the Rural Electrification Administration) and needy 
youth (the NYA) . At that time the WPA was thought of as merely 
a staff or co-ordinating agency, charged with clearing-house 
functions, reporting, and research. It was authorized to oper- 
ate small, useful projects of its own mainly to enable it to meet 
emergency, local needs not provided for by the major operating 
agencies* Chapter ill (pp. 33-45) describes how and why the WPA 
soon became the chief employer and project operator In the entire 
program. The present chapter, therefore, considers its organi- 
zation only as of 1941, when Its primary objective was the opera- 
tion of work projects, in co-operation with state and local gov- 

With a view to adapting the work program to local condi- 
tions and needs, the basic organization pattern of the WPA pro- 
vides for decentralized administration at the operating level, 
subject to such basic federal regulations as are required to 

section of the chapter Is based largely upon two 
sources: the WPA's four-volume Manual of Rules and Regulations 
(loose-leaf, 1939 to date), and A. W. Macmahon, J. D. Millet t, 
and Gladys Ogden, The Administration of Federal Work Relief 
(Chicago: Public Administration Service, 1941). 


prevent local abuses and to assure an equitable distribution of 
relief funds. 

The administrative organization of the WPA (shown graphi- 
cally in Fig. 9) consists of a Central Administration, departmen- 
talized according to function, and territorial units at three ad- 
ditional hierarchical levels the region, the state , and the dis- 
trict. In accord with the usual "line-and-staff " pattern, the 
functional divisions of the Central Administration are repeated 
in each of the three other levels. 

Four Major Horizontal Divisions 

The four major horizontal divisions of the WPA are: 

The Division of Research, Statistics, 
and Finance 

The Division of Operations, Engineering, 
and Project Control 

The Division of Community Service 

The Division of Employment 

Two of these four divisions clearly represent department- 
ation by function. They are the Division of Employment (respon- 
sible for developing wage and hour schedules, working conditions, 
Job classifications, procedures for hiring and dismissing work- 
ers, and labor relations and employee training programs) and the 
Division of Finance (in charge of research, statistics, and fi- 
nance ) . 

The two other divisions, both concerned with the actual 
administration of project operation, are separate largely because 
of differences existing between two major groups of workers and 
the consequent differences in the kinds of projects required to 
utilize their varying skills and aptitudes. Organization charts 
of these two operating divisions appear in Figure 10. 

The Division of Operations (or Engineering and Project 
Control) is the administrative unit responsible for the operation 
of construction or engineering projects. This division, which 
lays sewers and pavements, constructs -public buildings, and lays 
out parks, playgrounds, and airports, directs the activity of 
from two- thirds to three-quarters of all relief employees. 

The Division of Community Service Programs (originally 
the Women's and Professional Division, then the Professional and 



Project Control 



Project Control 




Project Control 




Project Control 

Line of administrative authority 
..... Line of technical advice and information 
Relationship established by State Administrator 

Pig. 9. Organization of the WPA in 19^0-41* 

*Source: U.S. Vork Projects Administration, Manual of Rules and 
Regulations, p. 1.1.011 (loose-leaf). * 




training 1 











H 60 







luot'n U 











8 Ion 
r Service 

& Records 



cords 1 






search | 







| Writing 
















5 5 

t ? 
^ S 





















Service Division) is responsible for all women's, white collar, 
professional, and clerical projects. These operations fall into 
three groups: (1) Public Activities Programs (cultural, service, 
and creative projects), (E) Research and Records Programs (surveys 
and projects for organizing, recording, or preserving public rec- 
ords), and (3) Welfare Programs (the preparation and distribution 
of food and clothing, and training for domestic service). Unlike 
the Division of Operations over 99 per cent of whose employees 
are men a large majority of the workers on "CSP" projects are 

The Four Vertical Hierarchical Levels 

The WPA has been described as a decentralized organization 
with a Central Administration and three territorial hierarchical 

levels. At the first level below the Central Administration are 


eight Regional Offices, each headed by a Director, who is respon- 
sible to the WPA Commissioner in Washington. The next level con- 
sists of fifty-three State Offices, 3 each headed by a State WPA 
Administrator. Finally, each state is divided into WPA adminis- 
trative districts. The District Offices are headed by District 
Managers, who report to the State WPA Administrator. 

Each of these various administrators is assisted by a 
staff of specialists representing each of the WPA's major hori- 
zontal divisions. 

One of the most Important organizational characteristics 
of the WPA is the manner in which it defines the functions of 
these "staff" or functional officers and protects their specified 
powers of technical supervision. In its official manual of regu- 
lations the WPA clearly differentiates between the line of "ad- 
ministrative authority" and that of "technical instruction and ad- 
vice. 11 The former is the primary line of authority and responsi- 
bility connecting the four hierarchical levels (see the solid line 

2 In the stammer of 1941, when considerable WPA activity 
was curtailed, Regions No. 7 and No. 8 (the two western regions) 
were consolidated as Region No. 7, to reduce the number of re- 
gional offices. 

3 The division of New York and California into two "state 1 * 
units apiece and the establishment of others for the District of 
Columbia, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico makes the number of such of- 
fices greater than the actual number of states. 


in Pig. 9), The latter, defined by the WPA as "a relationship 
whereby the application of executive policies and regulations at 
each level and at subordinate levels is guided by technical in- 
struction and advice/' 4 represents a provision designed to permit 
divisional specialists, acting in- an advisory capacity, to guide 
the development of projects under their technical jurisdiction 
(see the dotted lines in Pig. 9). 

The importance which the WPA places on maintaining both 
of these lines of supervision is indicated by the fact that al- 
though State WPA Administrators may determine the major lines of 
authority relating state and district officers, they may not in- 
terfere with the direct lines of technical instruction between 
the functional divisions at all levels. 5 It is this provision 
which permits the Library Service Section to negotiate directly, 
in technical matters, with state and district library project 
supervisors (see Fig. 12). 

The functions and powers of each of the four hierarchical 
levels of the WPA organization are now briefly discussed, in turn. 

The Central Administration- The headquarters office of 
the WPA in Washington, headed by a Commissioner, a Deputy Commis- 
sioner, and an Assistant Commissioner for each functional divi- 
sion, ia the planning, policy-making, arid regulatory unit which 
guides and directs the entire work relief program. It is not an 
operating unit itself. It is the administrative center of the 
organization. It prescribes conditions for project eligibility, 
establishes rates of pay and Job classifications, formulates uni- 
form rules and regulations governing project operation, and ap- 
proves all project applications. Among its administrative func- 
tions are organizing, budgeting, co-ordinating, reporting, and 
carrying on constant self-analysis and research. 

Other specific responsibilities of the Central Adminis- 
tration are the distribution of WPA funds aaong the states and 
among various types of projects and the development of standard 
procedures suited to many diverse local conditions. The Commis- 
sioner recommends the appointment of Regional Directors and candi- 
dates for important state positions. However, since senatorial 

*U.B. Work Projects Administration, Manual of Rules and 
Regulations. I, 1.1.013 (loose-leaf). " 

5 Ibld. . p. 1.1.018. 


confirmation is required for appointments paying $5,000 or more, 
he is by no means a free agent in his selection. 

Finally, it is the function of the Central Administration 
to represent the entire program before Congress and the people. 
In this capacity it gathers and interprets nation-wide statistics 
on WPA employment, expenditures, and selected items of achieve- 
ment, issues special studies on unemployment and work relief, and 
publishes periodic reports on its progress and accomplishment. 

Regional Offices. The Regional Offices of the WPA (see 
Fig. 11 for their location) were created to reduce the Central 
Administration's span of communication to a workable size. Indi- 
vidual State WPA Administrators, therefore, are expected to deal 
with their Regional Director, rather than Washington, in most 
matters requiring assistance from a higher authority. Most State 
Administrators do go to Washington at least once a year to dis- 
cuss their own special problems with the Commissioner, but they 
have not met there In a group since 1935. The use of assembled 
gatherings for administrative purposes is confined largely to 
meetings of Regional Directors and to regional conferences of se- 
lected state officials. 

The primary function of these regional units may best be 
described aa liaison, or 'perhaps co-ordination. True enough, 
the lines of direct authority do pass through the Regional Of- 
fices en route to the states. Nevertheless, a Regional Director 
does not personally administer a group of state programs. Rather, 
he gives them his general oversight, as a representative of the 
Commissioner* In a word, the Regional Offices are the co-ordi- 
nating arms of the Central Administration. 

A Regional Office is empowered to Interpret agency regu- 
lations, to authorize exceptions to meet local conditions, to 
recommend state employment quotas, to review tentatively certain 
project proposals, to hold regional conferences of WPA officers, 
to approve certain state appointments, and to recommend changes 
in operating procedures to the Central Administration. 

Although all dealings Involving questions of policy are 
conducted through the Regional Offices, considerable correspond- 
enoe nevertheless does take place directly between the states and 
the Central Administration. Divisional specialist a In Washington,, 

6 Ibld., pp. 1.2.27-8. 



for example, deal directly with their counterparts at the state 
level in disseminating technical advice and information, and much 
routine business concerning project operation is allowed to by- 
pass the regions. 

State Administrations. The State Administration is the 
basic unit for WPA project operation and control. Within the lim- 
its imposed by the Central Administration and its regional repre- 
sentatives, each State Administrator is responsible for the entire 
development of the work relief program within his state. 

Each state office has divisional directors parallelling 
those at the central and regional levels. These "staff" officers 
advise the State Administrator in project planning. Actually, 
they also exercise considerable control over the conduct of proj- 
ect operations in their respective fields. For example, a state's 
Director of the Division of Operations supervises the planning, 
scheduling, and execution of all construction and engineering 
projects, and the Director of Community Service Programs performs 
similar functions for activities of a professional or service na- 
ture. The specific duties of these officers include assisting 
sponsors in formulating project proposals, interpreting operating 
procedures, recommending supervisory personnel, establishing stand- 
ards of performance, and representing their fields of operation 
at the state level. Since these divisional specialists are in a 
position to encourage or limit the development of any program in 
their charge, it is clear why the support of the State Director 
of H CSP tt is vital to the success of every state-wide library proj- 

As noted previously, the State WPA Administrator is em- 
powered to determine (with certain limitations) the administrative 
relationships at the state and district level. He may also dele- 
gate authority to his subordinate officers at his discretion, ex- 
cept in specified matters. He may not delegate to others the 
designation of the public welfare agency to certify candidates 
for WPA employment, the specification of standards for certifica- 
tion, the authorization of staff appointments and salaries, the 
application of exceptions to WPA regulations, the release of offi- 
cial information, and oertain other matters for which he, as Ad- 


ministrator, Is considered accountable. 
7 Ibld. . p. 1.3.002. 


District Offices. The district level of WPA administra- 
tion was established as a means of dividing states of widely vary- 
ing area, population, and work relief loads into manageable oper- 
ating units of more nearly equal size and responsibility. The 
WPA districts, therefore, are administrative units made up of 
groups of counties on the basis of population, area, work loads, 
and accessibility to an urban headquarters. In 1940 there were 
278 such districts in the United States. Two states (New York 
and Texas) had as many as twenty, while several others had but 
one. In the latter cases a single office served as both state 
and district headquarters* 

The District Manager, aided by his divisional directors 
and numerous supervisors, Is responsible for the actual operation 
of all WPA projects in his area. His office, therefore, is mana- 
gerial in character, and is concerned with the assignment of work- 
ers to specific projects, the transmission of payroll records and 
all project reports, the administration of workers 1 training pro- 
grams, the requisitioning of supplies, and the recruiting of proj- 
ect supervisors and administrative employees throughout the Dis- 

The individual District Manager may also exercise a good 
influence in his area by assisting county and local governments 
in developing a reserve shelf of desirable and eligible undertak- 
ings for future operation as public work projects. 

The directioa of project activity at specific Job loca- 
tions is performed by district and area supervisors (non-relief, 
technical specialists) who, aided by unit foremen, guide and in- 
spect the day-to-day operations of groups of certified (relief) 
workers . 

G-eneral Rules and Policies of the WPA 

The library assistance program, as but one small sector 
of the total work program, necessarily operates within certain 
important limit at ions which have nothing to do with its own ob- 
jective of increasing the availability of tax-supported public 
library service. This section discusses the four major groups of 
WPA regulations which apply to all projects alike. They are: 
project requirements, employment and personnel, finance, and 
sponsorship . 


Project requirements. In considering applications for 
the use of its funds, the WPA has three devices to guide it in 
making consistent decisions. The first is its project method, 
which requires the submission and central approval of detailed 
specifications for each proposal. Secondly, it can rely upon 
statutory limitations as specified in succeeding appropriation 
acts to enforce certain agency regulations. Finally, it has de- 
veloped a detailed "G-uide to Project Eligibility" (known as 
"Operating Procedure G-1 M ) as a codification of its policies con- 
cerning permissible activities for project operation. 

The original specifications for WPA projects stated that 
they should be useful, low in non-labor cost, high in their use 
of relief labor, adapted to the abilities of the available work- 
ers, capable of prompt inauguration, and more or less self-liq- 
uidating. To these have been added such other requirements as 
the following: 

1. All project activity must be sponsored by a public body 
(other than the WPA), and Its benefits must be made avail- 
able to the general public. 

2. A project may not perform current maintenance work (snow 
removal, seasonal street repair, etc.) nor activities cus- 
tomarily carried on by the sponsor, except where such ac- 
tivities constitute a real addition or extension to serv- 
ices normally rendered. 

3. No project which competes with private industry may be 
undertaken. (It was this rule which led to the curtail- 
ment of bookbinding on library projects after 1938.) 

4. Service projects should be organized on a state-wide basis 
wherever greater economy and efficiency of operation will 
result. 9 

The specif io kinds of eligible activities cited in the 
appropriating acts Include the construction of roads, public 
buildings, various utility systems, and airports, the operation 
of recreational and cultural projects and training projects for 
domestic service and for national defense industries. 

Library activities are mentioned in several different 
sections of the VPA's "Guide to Project Eligibility. 11 Among the 

8 Macaahon > Mlllett, and Ogden, op. oit., p. 89. 

Paraphrased from the WPA 1 a "(hilde to Project Eligibility" 
and other agency-vide rules and regulations. 

specific types of work cited are: 

the compilation of bibliographies (section 45) 

book repair (section 46) 

transcribing books into Braille (section 47) 

library service to educational projects (section 48) 

public library extension (section 55) 

the preparation of newspaper indexes (section 61) 

This study is chiefly concerned with the activities carried on 
under the provisions of section 55 (library extension). 

Administratively all projects are divided into two groups: 
(1) federal projects (those sponsored and directed by regular 
federal agencies, with almost no WPA supervision); and (2) non- 
federal projects (those sponsored by state, county, or local pub- 
lic bodies, and administered by WPA supervisory personnel). This 
second group accounts for 80 or 90 per cent of all project activ- 
ity, Including the library assistance program. 

Enroloyment and personnel In the selection and training 
of workers, in wage and hour rates, and in conditions of employ- 
ment library projects are also subject to general agency regula- 
tions, some of which are fixed by Congress, while others are de- 
termined by the WPA. Among these rules are the following: 

1. All WPA officers receiving salaries of $5,000 or more must 
be appointed by the President with senatorial approval. 

2. No person a candidate for a public office may be employed. 

3. No WPA administrative or supervisory employee may engage 
In political activity. 

4. State WPA administrative employees shall be recruited from 
bona fide citizens of the state. 

5. All relief employees shall be certified as to need by an 
authorized local public welfare agency (or by the WPA). 

6. No alien, Communist, or Nazi Bund member shall be employed 
by the WPA. 

?. Persons refusing offers of private employment may not be 
employed as certified workers on WPA projects. 

S. Preference in selecting project personnel shall be given 
to war veterans and widows of war veterans. 

9. All relief workers (except veterans or veteran's widows) 
shall be removed from WPA payrolls after 18 months of con- 
tinuous project employment. If still eligible for relief 
work after 30 days they may be re-hired If their services 
are still needed. 


,10. No relief employee may work more than 130 hours a month, 
more than eight hours a day, or more than forty hours a 

11. Rates of pay and monthly earning schedules shall be fixed 
by the WPA Commissioner (based on an average security wage 
of $50 a month) . 

,12. No worker shall be discriminated against because of race, 
religion, or political affiliation. 

13. No project may recruit more than 10 per cent of its per- 
sonnel from non-relief candidates. 10 

The determination of employment quotas for the various 
states is said to have been based on the following general formula: 
40 per cent on state population, 40 per cent on the amount of un- 
employment within the state, and 20 per cent on the discretion of 
WPA headquarters. 

Individual workers are assigned to specific projects on 
the basis of their work histories and their particular aptitudes, 
in order to preserve such trained skills as they may already pos- 
sess. Their /ate of pay is determined according to their occupa- 
tional classification and the relative responsibility of their 


duties. In its payroll classification the WPA designates work- 
ers as "unskilled," "intermediate/ "skilled," or "professional 
or technical." Thus, "Junior Library Clerks" and "Book Cleaners" 
are "unskilled," "Senior Library Clerks" are "intermediate," "Li- 
brary Assistants 11 are "skilled," and "Librarians" are "profes- 
sional and technical" workers. (College education and profes- 
sional library training or two years of professional experience 
are the qualifications for the rank of "Librarian.") 

Standards for administrative and supervisory positions 
are also clearly defined in this job classification. Thus, a 
State Library Project Supervisor must be a graduate of an accred- 
ited library school with successful public library administrative 

10 Paraphrased from successive congressional acts provid- 
ing funds for the work relief program, and rulings of the Commis- 

^Maomahon, Millett, and Ogden, OP. cit.. p. 223. 

12 U.S. Work Projects Adainlstration, "Rules and Regula- 
tions Governing Employment 11 (Operating Procedure E-9), Appendix 


Finance. WPA finance has two major aspects which affect 
project operation: the acquisition and allocation of over-all sup- 
port, and the control of project expenditures. 

From the beginning the acquisition of adequate regular 
support for WPA projects has been hampered by the unwillingness 
of government leaders to admit publicly that work relief was more 
than an emergency or temporary problem. Thus the WPA has had to 
depend for its existence upon unpredictable amounts of support ob- 
tained from Congress by direct Presidential request at irregular 
intervals. In practice lump sums have been appropriated to oper- 
ate the WPA for a specific period; then/ before the end of this 
period deficiency appropriations have had to be made to supple- 
ment these funds. It is not surprising, therefore, that the WPA, 
uncertain of its own very existence from year to year, has found 
it difficult to get the states to develop long-range plans for 
using relief workers* 

The control over project expenditures is regulated In 
part by Congress and partly by rules of the Commissioner, Origi- 
nally Congress specified statutory allocations for eight broad 
classes of projects, but this form of fiscal administration proved 
to be inadequate to meet changing needs; and after 1938 the "ear 
marking" of funds for specific activities was discontinued. 

The major Congressional controls over WPA expenditures 
include the following four provisions: 

1. No state may ordinarily spend more than $6 per man-month 
per year of WPA funds for other than labor (except on 
projects designated as essential to national defense). 

2. Within any state the sponsors 1 contribution to WPA proj- 
ects must amount to at least 25 per cent of their total 
cost (except for projects designated as essential to na- 
tional 'defense) . 

3. Administrative expenses for WPA projects shall not exceed 
specific statutory limitations for salaries, communica- 
tion, travel, publishing, and binding. (These amounts 
usually run to 3 or 4 per cent of all WPA funds). 

4. No Federal building project may cost more than $100, 000; 
and the WPA 1 a share of no non-federal building project may 

13 Macmahon, Millet, and Ogden, op. olt., p. 128. 

exceed $100, 000. 14 

Detailed regulations concerning timekeeping, the prepara- 
tion of payrolls, vouchers, inventories, and accounts for WPA 
projects are set forth in the agency's official manual of rules. 15 

The accounting and disbursement of WPA funds is handled 
by the U.S. Treasury Department, which reports annually on program 
expenditures and the state of WPA finance. 16 

Sponsorship. The device of sponsorship was established 
originally to fix responsibility for project planning at the state 
and local level and to assure regular, non-federal participation 
in the cost of project operation. Sponsors of WPA construction 
projects are required to pay a definite, substantial share of 
their cost; and sponsors of non-construction undertakings were 

originally expected to furnish technical supervision, equipment, 


and supplies. In recent years, however, sponsors of profes- 
sional and service projects have not had to carry the entire bur- 
den of providing supervision and supplies. 

A sponsor may directly supervise project operations (as 
in cases where a few relief workers assist an established library) , 
or project activity may be directed largely by qualified WPA su- 
pervisors (the usual arrangement on state-wide library projects). 
In general, the latter practice appears to be better suited to 
conditions of efficient project operation, provided the objective 
of assisting the sponsor is rigidly followed. Most project spon- 
sors, busy with the duties of their own offices, function best in 
a planning and advisory capacity, leaving routine administration 
to the WPA. 

Two statutory regulations serve to assure a minimum of 
regular non-federal participation in project operating costs* 

Paraphrased from successive congressional acts provid- 
ing funds for the work relief program. 

U.S. Work Projects Administration, Hanual of Rules and 
Regulations. Vol. IV (loose-leaf). 

16 U.S. President, Report of the President of the United 
States to the Congress. Showing the Status of Funds and Opera- 
tions under the Emergency Relief Appropriation Acts for the Tia- 
oal Years 1935 to .Inclusive ... . (Washington: government 
Printing Office, ) (Prepared by the Treasury Department). 

17 U.S. Works Progress Administration, "Guide to Project 
Eligibility 11 (Operating Procedure &-1), Section 23. 


The first specifies that sponsors shall bear at least 25 per cent 
of the coat of every state's projects. The second limits to $6.00 
per man-month the amount of WPA funds any state may spend for non- 
labor purposes. 

From 1936 to 1941 the total sponsors 1 contribution to WPA 
projects rose from 10 per cent of all project costs to almost 31 
per cent. In 1936 these contributions accounted for 40 per cent 

of all non-labor expenditures. By 1940 this proportion had in- 

creased to almost 80 per cent. 

The PA Library Assistance Program 

This section discusses the administration of WPA library 
projects by describing the role of the Library Service Section, 
by explaining the program 1 s objectives and activities, and by de- 
scribing the operation of a state-wide library project. 

By 1941 the library assistance activities of the WPA had 
been largely co-ordinated into a single program, operated as a se- 
ries of state-wide library service projects. Like many other non- 
construction activities, therefore, library projects are customa- 
rily sponsored by a single agency In each state and are operated 
on a state-wide basis with numerous local bodies acting as co- 

Administratively all library projects are under the Juris- 
diction of the individual State WPA Administrator and his Director 
of Community Service Programs. Workers on individual units are 
responsible to their area supervisors, who, in turn, report to 
their District Office. As can be seen from Figures 10 and 12, li- 
brary projects constitute a separate unit within the Public Activ- 
ities section of the Community Service Programs division at all 
levels of the administrative hierarchy. 

The Library Service Section. The Library Service Section 
in Washington is a * staff 11 or advisory agency, and therefore does 
not itself operate any library projects. It was established in 
1938 as a unit within the Central Administration, to serve as a 
clearing-house for all WPA library assistance activities and to 
render field services to library projects throughout the nation. 
Specifically it is empowered to provide professional advisory 


U.S. Federal Works Agency, Second Annual Report. 1941 

(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1942), p. 443. 


Deputy WPA 

-Flow of Authority 

-Plow of Technical 
Advice and Instr, 

[ CSP a Division | 

Regional Dir. 

[Dir. of C3P a [ 

State Admin. 

[State CSP a 

District Mgr. 

[Pub. Act. ProgTj 

| Dir. of PAP b | 

Dir. [ 

State PAP 1 

Diat. CSP a Dlrj 

Lib. Ser. Sect. 


jDist. PAF Dir. I 






|Lib. Prog. 









[State Lib. 



Dist. Lib. Sup. 

[Lib. Sup.[ [Lib. 3up,| [idb. Sup.] 
Fig, 12. The status of library projects in the WPA hierarchy 

a CSP refers to the Community Service Programs Division. 
PAP refers to Public Activities Programs. 
Usually there Is no regional officer for the library program. 


service to individual projects and sponsors, to assist in review- 
ing library project proposals, to interpret WPA regulations af- 
fecting libraries, and to further the development of uniform ob- 
jectives, policies, procedures, and standards of performance for 
library projects. 

As a "staff" rather than a "line 11 office, the Library 
Service Section affects the development of specific library proj- 
ects largely by means of advice, suggestion, and diplomatic per- 
suasion, since individual projects are ultimately controlled by 
a State Administrator and his "CSP" division chief. However, in 
his consultative capacity (in recommending the approval, of proj- 
ect proposals, in developing procedures for project operation, 
and in conferring with state sponsors and supervisors) the Direc- 
tor of the Library Service Section actually exercises a consider- 
able influence over library project organization and operation. 

The routine work of this section is concerned with sueh 
matters as the solicitation and analysis of reports on library 
project activity, the study of administrative problems of indi- 
vidual state-wide projects, the dissemination of Information con- 
cerning experiments with new library extension techniques, the 
preparation of bookmobile specifications, contractual agreements, 
and reporting forms, the organization of supervisors 1 conferences, 
and the planning of workers' training programs. 

During 1940-41 the staff of the Library Service Section 
included four persons, as follows: 

1. The Direct ~, who officially represents the section and Is 
held responsible for all of its services and recommenda- 
tions. He personally recommends the approval or revision 
of all library project proposals. 

2. The Assistant to the Director, who renders advisory as- 
sistance to Individual states on library extension prac- 
tice. She is acting head of the section in the Director's 
absence, and shares with him the responsibility of visiting 
the various states to assist sponsors and WPA officials In 
solving local problems of project organization and admin- 

3. A Bibliographical Specialist, who assists the states in 
organizing projects for indexing newspapers, compiling 
bibliographies and union catalogs. He develops standards 
and procedures for such work, and is preparing a compre- 
hensive bibliography of all WPA bibliographical undertak- 

4. An Administrative Assistant, who reviews library project 


proposals for form, completeness, cost estimates, and con- 
formity to WPA regulations. He also advises the states 
with regard to reporting techniques, the requisition of 
books and equipment, and bookmobile design. 

In the exercise of its advisory function the Library Serv- 
ice Section has Issued a number of circulars and manuals designed 
to assist the states in developing their own programs according 

to sound library procedure. 19 In these publications and in sev- 

eral articles prepared by the Director of the Section the ob- 
jectives, policies, and operating procedures of the entire VPA 
library assistance program are set forth. These statements 
clearly reveal the characteristics of the Library Section's pat- 
tern of extending library service by demonstration and provide 
much of the information upon which this study *s interpretation of 
the program depends. 

Objectives and eligible activities. The basic objective 
of all state-wide WPA library service projects is officially de- 


"WPA Library Service Circular" series, issued Irregu- 
larly, as part of the "WPA Technical Series of Publications," as 

No. 1. Union Cataloging Projects (April 1, 1940). 

No. 2. The Selection and Administration of Project-Owned Books 

(February 18, 1941). 

No. 3. Training Manual (March 13, 1941). 
No. 4. Central Cataloging Service (October 31, 1941). 

Also: Preliminary Supervisor's Manual for the Operation of a 

WPA Statewide Library Service Project (September, 

1940). (Planographed.) 
"Suggestions for Preparation of a Statewide Public Library 

Project Application." (Typewritten.) 
Section 55 in the WPA "G-uide to Project Eligibility 11 

(Operating Procedure 0-1). 
Section 20 In "The Operation of Specific Professional and 

Service Projects" (Operating Procedure G-5). 


E. A. Chapman, "Theory and Practice in the Organization 
and Operation of WPA State-wide Library Service Projects" (Re- 
vised, February, 1940). (Typewritten.) 

E. A. Chapman, Statewide Library Service Projects (A 
paper presented before the Southeastern Library Association Con- 
ference, October 25, 1940). (Planographed.) 

E. A. Chapman, "State Agencies and the WPA," National 
Association of State Libraries, Proceedings. 1937-1938, September, 
1937, pp. 30-32. 

E. A. Chapman, *WPA and Rural Libraries," Bulletin of 
the American Library Association. XXXII (October 1, 1938), 703-9. 

E. A. Chapman, "WPA Library Demonstrations Serve Mil- 
lions of Readers," ALA Bulletin. XXXIV (April, 1940), 225-31. 


fined as "assisting established library agencies in stimulating 
local reception of complete and permanent library service as a. 
regular public function." In a corollary statement the Direc- 
tor of the Library Service Section, discussing project aims, has 
pointed out that the program also; 

.... 'has the professional objective of demonstrating ac- 
cepted state plans for the logical development of statewide 
library service. This objective resolves itself into .... 
that of reaching the unserved increment of a state ' s popula- 
tion, which is largely rural. The statewide project may be 
viewed as a laboratory for demonstrating service theories and 
.... developing practical operators in the field of library 

extension The program is Intended to supply a tool 

for librarians In other words, the project belongs 

to librarians and must enjoy their active participation if the 
objectives sought are to be obtained. d * 

The WPA library program, therefore, is in no sense either an in- 
dependent, federally operated system of library service nor a 
plan for permanently subsidizing locally administered libraries. 
It is strictly an assistance program, designed to help existing 
library authorities in extending library service supported by 
state and local funds. 

Among the specific activities in which a state-wide li- 
brary project may engage are the following: 

1. Assist in reference work. 

2. Preserve and repair library materials (except textbooks). 

3. Conduct story hours and reading clubs* 

4. Rearrange library collections. 

5. Check collections against shelf lists. 

6. Assist in catalog revision and compilation of union cata- 

7. Check, catalog and/ or list duplicate library materials. 

8. 'Assist in compiling book list a and arranging library dis- 

9. Prepare pamphlet, clipping, map, picture, and photo col- 

U.S. Work Projects Administration, H The Operation of 
Specific Professional and Service Projects" (Ope- -11^ "Procedure 
Q~5), Section 55. 

Edward A. Chapman, "Theory and Practice in the Organi- 
zation and Operation of WPA State-vide Library Service Projects" 
(revised February, 1940). (Typewritten.) 


10. Assist in circulation work and in the preparation of 
books for circulation only in connection with the expan- 
sion or extension of existing library services. 

11. Assist in keeping libraries open longer hours. 

12. Compile biographic and supplementary Indexes, and special 
and miscellaneous bibliographies. 23 

How a state-wide library project operates. The foregoing 
portion of this chapter has employed the analytical method to 
characterize the organization of the WPA and the Library Service 
Section. This section treats the operating policies and techniques 
of the library program by means of a synthesis. That is, it pre- 
sents them in context, by describing the organization and opera- 
tion of an hypothetical state-wide library service project, which 
constitutes in a sense a projection of the Library Service Sec- 
tion's plan of library assistance. 

Let us suppose that a state already has many locally-spon- 
sored projects, assisting individual public libraries and operat- 
ing Independent lending stations in communities without public 
libraries. The state library agency realizes that most of these 
projects are too scattered, too small, and too lacking in compe- 
tent supervision and local participation to lead to permanent, 
tax-supported library service. Accordingly, with the full co- 
operation of the state library association, the state agency 
agrees to sponsor a state-wide WPA library project, to supersede 
these numerous loc&l projects. This single project will concen- 
trate all available WPA assistance on library service demonstra- 
tions directed at the establishment of permanent county or re- 
gional libraries. 

The state agency, drawing upon its surveys of existing 
services and its long-range plans for state-wide library develop- 
ment, prepares a proposal describing the intended scope and em- 
phasis of the project, estimating its cost and the amount of re- 
lief employment it will create, and stating specifically what the 
sponsor will contribute to its support and supervision. 

This application is then submitted to the state WPA of- 
fiee, which, after studying it, submits it to the Central Admin- 

23 U.S. Work Projects Administration, "Guide to Project 
Eligibility 11 (Operating Procedure S-l), Section 55 (June, 1941, 


istration In Washington, Here it is registered in the Project 
Control and Clearance Section and sent to the appropriate tech- 
nical adviser (in this instance the chief of the Library Service 
Section) for review. If it receives his approval its employment 
and financial estimates and its legality are then checked and it 
goes to the Commissioner for final authorization. 

When the project is officially approved, the State Admin- 
istrator appoints a State Library Project Supervisor. The latter 
then recruits a staff of qualified field supervisors and requisi- 
tions relief help to operate the service. 

Library demonstration areas are selected with regard to 
relative need, citizen demand, and their potential ability to 
support library service. Intensive surveys of these areas are 
made to discover the best basis for developing a permanent area- 
wide system of service around the facilities of existing local li- 
braries. Each supervisor then arranges the details of the program 
within her area with local library representatives and interested 
civic leaders. She helps with the organization of citizens 1 li- 
brary associations, negotiates agreements with county and munici- 
pal officers for regular financial contributions to the demonstra- 
tion, and assists In organizing book drives to increase the scope 
and variety of materials for circulation. 

The book stock of a library service demonstration is ob- 
tained from three major sources. The WPA furnishes a limited num- 
ber of new volumes for project use, as "tools for demonstration." 
These are selected, ordered, cataloged, and distributed to Indi- 
vidual demonstration areas by the project's central processing 
office, under the direction of a trained supervisor. According 
to WPA regulations the books purchased with federal funds must be 
chosen from standard book selection guides, In a proportion not 
to exceed 35 per cent children's literature, and adult titles to 
include not more than 35 or 30 per cent fiction. Additional vol- 
umes are usually loaned to the project by the sponsor and by lo- 
cal-libraries co-operating in the demonstration. Finally, gift 
books and titles purchased with funds raised locally round out 
the collection of available materials* 

Bookmobiles needed to bring books to rural residents and 
to exchange rotating deposit collections may also sometimes be 
obtained with WPA assistance. The WPA may rent a chassis for 
this purpose if a co-sponsor will supply a suitable body for it 


and will- agree to maintain the entire unit after a limited period 
of demonstration. 

When book collections arxd equipment are ready, workers 
assigned, initial deposit stations located, and bookmobile routes 
tentatively scheduled, lending service is begun. Arrangements 
for rotating book stocks, filling special requests, and recondi- 
tioning worn volumes are made, borrowing rules are announced, and 
an in-service training program for project workers is set in oper- 
ation. Conducted by qualified supervisors, this program includes 
"on- the- job" training in specific tasks and routines, and periodic 
instruction in area-wide group meetings or training institutes. 
Usually formal instruction is supplemented by printed information 

and Illustrative materials contained in a workers 1 manual or 11- 

brary project handbook. 

Once in operation a WPA library service demonstration 
bears many resemblances to an established county library. How- 
ever, it differs from such a library in one important regard. As 
a temporary undertaking it has the object, not merely of giving 
the best possible service, but of so demonstrating the advantages 
of free, area-wide library service that the communities benefited 
will provide tax support for a permanent library program when WPA 
assistance is withdrawn. It is therefore the policy of the WPA 
to set a time limit on its demonstrations, in order to avoid 
merely subsidizing a service of primarily local benefit. 

Since a WPA library service demonstration is intended to 
achieve a definite goal in a limited period of time, one impor- 
tant phase of library project activity is its program of public 
relations. It is the responsibility of project supervisors to 
show the citizens of demonstration communities how they may le- 
gally establish a sound, tax-supported library system. By ex- 
plaining to influential civic organizations the cost, benefits, 
and procedure of establishing permanent library service, and by 
helping them to plan and carry on veil-directed local publicity, 
these supervisors usually play an important role in determining 
the effectiveness of demonstration assistance. 

The crucial phase of a library demonstration is reacned 

24 Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, North 
Carolina, Ohio, and South Carolina all have developed such hand- 
books, based on their own particular needs. 


when, after a reasonable period of operation, the time comes to 
determine whether the service is to be continued with permanent 
local support. Sometimes county commissioners can take the nec- 
essary action, upon petition of a group of citizens. In other 
cases (or if the commissioners are unwilling to act on their own 
authority) the establishment of an area-wide library is made the 
issue of a public election. After such a vote has been taken, 
the WPA may assist the community in organizing its permanent 
service system, in drawing up sound contractual agreements with 
existing libraries, and in staffing its lending centers tempora- 
rily. However, if the issue is decisively defeated, tke WPA will 
customarily withdraw its entire demonstration facilities. In 
cases where there is still a livelihood that tax support may be 
won by its continuance, a demonstration may be extended for another 
specified period, if local contributions are increased and there 
is evidence that greater local effort will be made to establish 
the service on a permanent basis. 

When a demonstration is withdrawn, its facilities are 
then made available to another area. In general, it is a policy 
of the WPA to concentrate its effort in areas best able to sup- 
port a sound program, so that by increasing the number of counties 
with service, their example may facilitate the establishment of 
state aid to equalize library opportunity among all counties. 
Those counties too poor or too small to support adequate library 
systems of their own are urged to arrange with adjoining areas^ 
for service on a bi-county or regional basis. 

Review and Appraisal 

This chapter now considers the administrative soundness 
of the WPA library assistance program in relation to principles 
of administrative organization and its technical soundness in re- 
lation to accepted library extension practice. 

The Administrative Soundness of the Program 

The literature on scientific management contains no single 
statement of principles that is accepted by all scholars In this 
field. Several publications on administrative theory dlsouss such 
principles; but each differs from the others In its terminology, 
definitions, or arrangement of principles. This study, therefore, 


arbitrarily selects one of them, a statement by Floyd W. Reeves, S5 
for use as a framework against which to consider the administra- 
tive organization of the WPA library assistance program. 

The seven principles of administrative organization are 
stated by Mr. Reeves as follows: 

1. Administrative organization should provide for unity of 
management * 

2. Effective administrative organization is a hierarchy. 

3. Administrative organization should provide a limited span 
of control for all officials. 

4. Administrative organization should provide for the delega- 
tion of authority commensurate with responsibility. 

5. Administrative organization should provide for the grouping 
of employees on the basis of homogeneity of activities. 

6. Administrative organization should provide for the per- 
formance of line and staff functions. 

7. Administrative organization should prorlde facilities for 
co-ordi nation - 

No claim Is made that these Include all possible principles of 
good management. The author does submit, however, that some rec- 
ognition of those he presents is a requisite of effective adminis- 
tration in any sizable organization. This study considers the 
extent to which each of them is observed in the organization of 
the WPA and Its library assistance program. 

Unity of management. The WPA as a whole achieves unity 
of management by centering responsibility for the entire organi- 
zation in a single Commissioner. The library assistance program, 
however, consisting merely of a group of Independent state-wide 
projects, has no such administrative unity at the national level. 
It has a central representative, or spokesman, In the Director of 
the Library Service Section; but he is only a "staff 11 of fleer, not 
an administrator in full control of library activities. At the 
state level, on the other hand, there is unity of management In 
the library program, for responsibility and authority for all li- 
brary assistance centers in the State Library Project Supervisor 

Floyd V. Reeves, "Some General Principles of Adminis- 
trative Organization 11 in C. B. Joeckel (toU), Current Issu" *- 
Library Administration (Chicago: University of Chicago Pr 
1939), pp. 1-21. 

ssues In 

and ultimately in the State Administrator. 

Since individual program objectives are only incidental 
to the WPA's major purpose, any national administration of projects 
by type would merely disrupt over-all WPA management at the state 
level. In a chapter on "The Rival Claims of Hierarchy and Spe- 
cialty 11 Macmahon and his colleagues present an excellent analysis 
of this very problem. They point out how the Federal Arts 
Project (the outstanding experiment in functional unity of proj- 
ect management) played havoc with state and local project admin- 
istration until its activities were reorganized to fit into the 
regular WPA hierarchy. 

Hierarchy. Today WPA activities are organized on a clearly 
defined hierarchical basis. As can be seen from Figure 11 the 
line of direct authority flows from the Commissioner through each 
level to thj District Managers. Moreover, its pattern of horizon- 
tal department at ion is repeated at each of its four administrative 
levels. As a safeguard against too rigid an organization, how- 
ever, the determination of relationships among state and district 
officials is left to the discretion of each State Administrator. 

Span of ojntrol. The limitation of individual relation- 
ships to a workable size has also been considered in the WPA or- 
ganization. The Regional Offices of the WPA were created primarily 
to reduce the span of the Central Administration. Similarly, the 
District Offices were established because most states would present 
too great a span of authority if a single administrator were 
charged with the direct supervision of all local project opera- 
tions. State Library Project Supervisors also limit their per-* 
sonal span of control to an effective size by delegating to dis- 
trict and area assistants the Immediate charge of Individual dem- 
onstrations . 

Authority commensurate with responsibility. As a rule, 
when responsibility is delegated within the WPA it is accompanied 
by commensurate authority. It is true that State Library Project 
Supervisors, responsible for over-all project operation, do not 
have complete power over wages, hours, working conditions, and 
the selection and tenure of workers. These matters are handled 
by other divisions in accord with agency-wide regulations. How- 
ever, this division of function is applied to all projects alike; 

6 Macmahon, Millett, and Ogden, op. olt., pp. 244 ff. 


so program supervisors are held accountable only for the technical 
achievement of their projects within these recognized limitations. 
District and area supervisors are held responsible for the success 
or failure of the individual demonstrations in their charge. They 
are usually granted broad authority to develop day-to-day opera- 
tions to the limit of their Ingenuity and managerial ability. 

Department at ion on the basis of homogeneity. The various 
subdivisions within the WPA organization are grouped on several 
different bases of homogeneity* The major hierarchical levels 
represent departmentation by territorial or geographical bounda- 
ries. Two of the horizontal divisions (Employment and Finance) 
are based on homogeneity of function. The Divisions of Operations 
(Engineering and Project Control) and Community Service Programs, 
on the other hand, while both concerned with project planning and 
operation, are separated according to homogeneity of groups served 
(men versus women) or type of project (construction versus non- 
construction) . 

The Community Service Programs Division, established to 
provide for projects whose only original claim to similarity was 
their non-construction character, naturally resembles a pot-pourri 
of basically unrelated activities (see Pig. 12). The director of 
this division is expected to understand the objectives and needs 
of such diverse concerns as sewing, recreation, historical rec- 
ords, school lunch, library service, surplus commodity, and museum 
projects! As a result, the activities most familiar to the direc- 
tor may receive disproportionate official encouragement, while 
others may be slighted. Fortunately, however, the subgrouping of 
projects Into Public Activities, Research and Records, and Welfare 
programs arranges divisional undertakings according to more appar- 
ent homogeneity. 

Line and staff functions. Unlike most business or govern- 
mental organizations the WPA Is an agency whose day-to-day activ- 
ity necessitates the extensive conduct of undertakings which bear 
no inherent relationship to its primary function. The adminis- 
tration of a federal assistance program requires a strong "line" 
organization, which the WPA has developed in Its central-regional- 
state-district hierarchy. However, since Its operations consist 
mainly of undertakings requiring many specialized skills for their 
efficient conduct and supervision, it has had to provide "staff" 
officers with sufficient authority to assure all projects of com- 

petent technical direction. 

The WPA's deliberate provision for dual oversight for 
each type of program represents a solution admirably suited to 
its particular needs. By distinguishing clearly between "admin- 
istrative direction" and "technical supervision" it provides both 
"line" and "staff" officers with the kind of authority each needs. 
Thus, since administrative authority is reserved to "line" offi- 
cials, a district library supervisor is responsible to the Dis- 
trict Office. In technical matters, however, he confers directly 
with the State Library Project Supervisor for advice and assist- 
ance in planning project operations. At each level of the WPA 
hierarchy "staff" officers assist the administrative chief in 
"housekeeping" functions. Reporting, accounting, investigating 
abuses, planning standard procedures, developing personnel pro- 
grams, preparing publicity material, and analyzing statistics are 
some of the "staff" activities thus provided for by the WPA. 

Throughout the WPA the one "staff" function least well de- 
veloped is that of self -evaluation and applied research. As a 
busy organization, ostensibly temporary in character, the WPA has 
naturally emphasized getting its job done over all other consid- 
erations. However, if the WPA is continued it should take stock 
of its accomplishment, re-examine its objectives, and seriously 
consider its future role (in a post-war economy), not only with 
regard to work relief, but to library assistance and each of its 
other types of project activity. 

Co-ordination. Horizontal co-ordination is achieved in 
the WPA by means of conferences among division chiefs at each 
level of the hierarchy. Vertical co-ordination is facilitated 
throughout the agency by the arrangement for dual oversight, by 
the field operations of central representatives and regional of- 
ficers, by the preparation and distribution of central and state 
office orders and news letters (including the Manual of Rules and 
Regulation a ) , and by conferences of divisional, leaders at differ- 
ent levels. At the state level similar devices are used for co- 
ordination; and through his divisional directors each State Ad- 
ministrator tries to co-ordinate all WPA activity in the state 
into a single, integrated program. 

Within the limits of Its authority the Library Service 
Section has succeeded well in co-ordinating the project efforts 
of oertaln individual states. In other instances it has not been 


able to obtain the co-operation it has desired. However, it is 
fully cognizant of the importance of its co-ordinating role; and 
it would readily extend its performance of this function if it 
could but obtain the necessary funds and personnel for research, 
publication, and travel. 

The Technical Soundness of the Program 

No principles of library extension comparable to Profes- 
sor Reeves 1 "principles of administrative organisation" have yet 
appeared in the literature of library science. Lacking such cri- 
teria this study has developed its own list of precepts or ac- 
cepted demonstration techniques in terms of which the technical 
or professional soundness of the WPA library assistance program 
may be considered. This list, called a "code of best practice, " 
is based on a comparative analysis of the five library assistance 
programs which together comprise the chief examples of library 
extension by demonstration prior to the WPA. The five undertak- 
ings thus studied are: 

1. The Louisiana Library Demonstration, 1925-1930, assisted 
by $75,000 from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, to 
promote library development by demonstrating what can be 
done in a single state with financial assistance adminis- 
tered by a state library commission. 27 

2. The Fraser Valley (British Columbia) Library Demonstra- 
tion, 1930-1935, assisted with 4100,000 from the Carnegie 
Corporation, to demonstrate the advantages of a district 
library plan, using the principles of the county library 
system of reat Britain and of the United States. 28 


Louisiana. The Louisiana Library Commission, Report on 
the Louisiana Library Demons trat ion. 1925-1930 (New Zork City: 
League of Library Commissions, 1931). 


No single, comprehensive report of this demonstration 
has been published. Various aspects of ita progress, however, 
have been treated by H. Gk Stewart, C. K. Morrison, and R. B. 
Carrick In Issues of the Library Journal and the Pacific North- 
west Library Association Quarterly from 1936 to 1941. 

H. G-. Stewart, ^Regional Libraries in B.C., 11 LJ, LXI 
(November 15, 1936), 876-78. 

H. 0-. Stewart, "Regional Library Development 11 in L. R* 
Wilson (ed.), Library Trends (Chicago: University of Chicago 
Press, 1937), pp. 87-104. 

C. K. Morrison, "Library Problems in the Fraser Val- 
ley," PNLA Q.. II (October, 1937), 40-41. 

~' BT K. Morrison, "Progress and Poverty in Fraser Valley, 


3. The Hosenwald County Library Demonstration in the South, 
1930-1935, a program whereby eleven counties in seven 
southern states were to demonstrate the benefits of county- 
wide service (assisted by approximately $500,000 from the 
Rosenwald Fund) .29 

4. The Prince Edward Island Library Demonstration, 1933-1936, 
assisted by $108,000 from the Carnegie Corporation to fa- 
cilitate the establishment of permanent, tax- supported, 
area-wide library service throughout the province, as an 
example for all three of the Maritime Provinces. <* u 

5. The Tennessee Valley Authority Library Program, 1933 to 
date, a program whereby the TVA contracts with existing 
library authorities for service to its workers at and near 
its dam sites, and thus assists valley communities in sev- 
eral states to develop permanent, tax-supported library 
systems. ^* 

All five of these programs were assisted substantially by 
"outside" funds, and all were aimed at the development of perma- 
nent, area-wide, tax-supported library service systems. In de- 
tail they naturally differ considerably. However, together they 
are sufficiently alike in technique to suggest the following 
"code" as representing the essential characteristics of sound 
practice in extending library service by demonstration: 

"Code of Best Practice" for a Library 
Demonstration Program 

1. A sound library service demonstration should have the 
clearly defined objective of establishing a permanent li- 
brary system supported with public funds. 

2, A demonstration program should have a competent librarian 
as its directing head or executive secretary. 

LJ, LXIV (October 15, 1939), 781-84. 

C. K. Morrison, "Democratic Control of the Regional Li- 
brary in B.C., 1 ' PNLA Q, IV (April, 1940), 93. 

R. B, Carrick, "Fraser Valley Union Library; An Apprais- 
al," PNIA a, VI (October, 1941), 42-45. 


^Lo-uis R. Wilson and Edward A, Wight, County Library 
Service in the South (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1935). 


The Carnegie Library Demonstration in -Prince Edward 

Island. Canada. 1933-1936 (Charlotte town, P.E.I.? Prince -Edward 
Island Libraries, 1936). 

*Hary U, Rothrock and Helen M. Harris, "A Regional Li- 
brary in the Tennessee Valley, 11 ALA Bulletin. XXXV (December, 
1941), 658-64. 


3. The director of a library demonstration should have an ad- 
visory committee to assist in program planning. 

4. The administration of a program affecting many states 
should be decentralized. 

5. The function of the assisting agency should be to provide 
expert technical guidance in program organization and su- 
pervision, and decreasing financial aid for books and per- 

6. The communities assisted should provide space, equipment, 
and an increasing financial share in the enterprise, and 
should work to obtain tax support for a permanent library 

7. A thorough survey of the area to be assisted is an essen- 
tial prerequisite to planning a sound library demonstra- 

8. A demonstration should work through and with state and lo- 
cal library authorities to develop an integrated, area- 
wide system based on existing library facilities. 

9. Contractual agreements between the assisting agency and 
the participating libraries and local governments should 
be drawn up at the beginning of a library demonstration. 

10. A library demonstration should have a definite time limit. 

11. The territory selected for a library demonstration should 
constitute a natural service area that is economically 
able to support a permanent library system. 

12. A demonstration should provide impartial, area wide li- 
brary service to all citizens -alike. 

13. Every library demonstration should have a citizens 1 li- 
brary committee to sponsor the movement for permanent li- 
brary support. 

14. A library service demonstration should co-operate closely 
with other local civic and social organizations. 

15. A demonstration should focus attention continually upon 
its ultimate objective by maintaining a strong program of 
public relations. 

These fifteen precepts are by no means inclusive. Delib- 
erately omitted are such details of routine operation as the pol- 
icy of rotating deposits regularly, and the provision of titles 
on special request. In the attempt to emphasize broad principles 
rather than internal organizational procedures, the centraliza- 
tion of technical operations, characteristic of county or regional 
demonstrations, was also omitted. Moreover, the provision of in- 
service training, so important a factor In the WPA program, is 


not mentioned because the conditions which made it necessary in 
this instance are not an inherent part of the demonstration method. 

The WPA library assistance program is now considered 
briefly in relation to each of the precepts cited above. 

1. A clearly defined objective. Like the Louisiana, 
Fraser Valley, Prince Edward Island, and TVA library programs, 
the WPA library assistance program had the clearly specified ob- 
jective of facilitating the development of permanent, area-wide, 
tax-supported library service (see p. 118). 

2. A competent director. Also like the four programs 
mentioned, WPA-assisted library service demonstrations have been 
developed by competent leadership, both in Washington and, with 
few exceptions, at the state and district levels. The Rosenwald 
coimty library program, on the other hand, was rather hastily 
undertaken, and was seriously hampered In achieving permanent, 
measurable results by its failure to appoint a competent director 

to co-ordinate and supervise the development of its several county 



3. A professional advisory committee. The outstanding 
example of an advisory committee of library leaders for a specific 
library program is the Tennessee Valley Library Council, organized 
by the TVA to assist in planning for a more effective co-ordina- 
tion of library development throughout the region. Its program, 


together with its specific findings and recommendations provide 
a commendable Illustration of the appropriate function of such a 

The WPA library assistance program, as but one of many 
concerns of the WPA, has not had a separate advisory committee of 
its own. 54 However, the WPA has what is known as the National 

32 Wilson and Wight, op. clt. . p. 200. 


Tennessee Valley Authority, "Tennessee Valley Library 
Council, Conference, March 27 and 28, 1941, Knoxville, Tennessee" 
(Knoxville, Tennessee: TVA Training Division, 1941). (Multi- 
graphed. ) 

34 0n March 3, 1942, a National Advisory Committee for WPA 
library activities was appointed by Assistant Commissioner Florence 
Kerr, to a'dvlse the WPA in redirecting its library program In re- 
lation to the war. The committee consists of five library lead- 


Advisory Committee for Community Service Projects, whose member- 
ship includes a library representative, the Executive Secretary 
of the American Library Association. When the group meets, this 
spokesman for libraries brings librarians' observations on the 
demonstration program to the attention of the entire committee. 26 
Informally, the A.L.A. secretary also confers from time to time 
with the Director of the Library Service Section with regard to 
the formulation of program objectives and policies. At the state 
level several state-wide programs have project advisory commit- 
tees appointed by their respective state library associations. 
Finally, within the WPA the required device of public sponsorship 
assures each project of the assistance of at least one non-WPA 
library leader in planning program development. 

4. Decentralized administration. Director David E. 
Llllenthal, in discussing the organizational policy of the Tennes- 
see Valley Authority, clearly explains the dangers inherent in 
the centralized or remote administration of community services. 
He describes the TVA d grass roots" policy of placing responsibil- 
ity for both planning and action, formulation and execution, in 
the hands of competent leaders at the scene of program operation. 
Only in this manner, he declares, can plans involving the general 
welfare of an entire regional population be co-ordinated and 
adapted successfully to local conditions and parochial customs 
and traditions. 

In the WPA library assistance program its administration 
on a state-wide project basis t together with its policy of dele- 
gating considerable planning responsibility to individual super- 
visors, facilitates the achievement of this same flexibility in 
fitting project developments to local conditions and needs. Only 
a program that is sensitive to provincial mores and predisposi- 
tions can avoid arousing the suspicion (sometimes the downright 

35 IKS. Work Projects Administration, The National Advi- 
sory Committee for Community Service Projects, "Conference, held 
Tuesday Morning, May 21, 1940 H and "Conference, held Tuesday Aft- 
ernoon, Wednesday, and Thursday, May 21, 22, 23, 1940 a (Washing- 
ton, D.C., 1940). (Two stenotype reports, mimeographed.) 

Carl H. Mllam, W WPA State-wide Library Projects: Obser- 
vations Based on Comments of Librarians." (Mimeographed, 1940.) 

36 David E. Lilianthal, The TVA; An Experiment in the 
"Grass Roots'* Administration of Federal Functions {Knoxville, 
Tennessee: The TVA, 1939), 


antagonism) with which rural folk instinctively tend to regard 
social betterment enterprises promoted from "outside." In the 
case of a library program a single unit supervisor, living in the 
community served, can more effectively deal with rural scepticism 
toward "book-larnin 1 M and fear of government control than a corps 
of experts could, administering the demonstration from Washington. 

5. The role of the assisting agency . All demonstration 
programs are made possible by "outside" financial assistance. 
However, the agency providing this aid should bear in mind that 
its proper role is to assist the region in developing its own li- 
brary system. It should not merely provide funds for books, 
equipment, and personnel. Its primary function should be the 
provision of technical advice and assistance in planning and or- 
ganizing the service on a sound financial basis and at a high 
level of performance. In the WPA library assistance program, just 
as the TVA places its technical experts at the service of local 
groups interested in solving their own agricultural, educational, 
health, and recreational problems, so trained WPA demonstration 
supervisors help individual communities to establish sound, per- 
manent library service systems. The major role of the assisting 
agency, therefore, is to show rural residents by example how they 
can obtain for themselves a service that hitherto has- been gener- 
ally available only to urban communities. 

6. The role of participating communities, Every sound 
demonstration program is a co-operative enterprise, dependent for 
its success upon the extent to which the region assisted takes an 
active part in its operation and support. It is essential, there- 
fore, that each community affected by a demonstration make some 
tangible contribution to its success. 

In the UFA library assistance program the system of local 
co- sponsorship assures each demonstration of at least a minimum 
degree of local participation. Usually this involves certain reg- 
ular financial support from county, town, or village funds, and 
the provision of such space, heat, light, and equipment as is 
needed for housing library branches or deposit stations. Quite 
as important as this tangible aid, however, is each community's 
intangible or moral support of the library demonstration program. 
Once library service has been put in operation, those residents 
wfco want it continued permanently have an obligation to work ac- 
tively to obtain the necessary tax support. Without this active 


citizen participation even a liberally-assisted demonstration may 

7* A preliminary survey. Just as a clear objective is an 
essential prerequisite to sound policy determination, so a thor- 
ough territorial survey is a necessary first step in the planning 
of individual library service demonstrations. Both the Fraser 
Valley and the Prince Edward Island library demonstrations were 
undertaken largely as a result of the findings of preliminary 
surveys. Similarly TVA library service, like the whole TVA pro- 
gram, has been planned on the basis of exhaustive surveys of the 
entire valley region. 

The territorial survey is also a basic tool used in or- 
ganizing WPA-assisted library service demonstrations. In fact, a 
comprehensive survey is indispensable to a State WPA Library Proj- 
ect Supervisor as an aid to selecting individual demonstration 
areas with due regard for such factors as the character and dis- 
tribution of population, existing library services, transporta- 
tion facilities, physical and political boundaries, library laws, 
sectional or regional attitudes, and the sources and amount of 
income potentially available for the support of library service. 
In some states the sponsor has assembled this information, to- 
gether with a long-range state-wide plan for library development. 
In others the WPA finds it necessary to make its own surveys, 
gathering data county by county, as a guide to sound project plan- 
ning. In its suggested procedure for organizing a state-wide li- 
brary service project the Library Service Section provides a guide 

for making such territorial surveys. 

8. The integration of existing library services. In every 
sound demonstration program the new, area-wide service should be 
developed, as far as possible^ by extending and integrating all 
such library facilities as a region may already possess* Thus, 
instead of superimposing a completely new library program upon 


British Columbia Public Library Commission, British 
Columbia Library Survey (Victoria, B.C., 1929). 

Commission of Enquiry into Canadian Libraries, Libraries 
in Canada, a Study of Library Conditions and Needs (Ryerson, 

U.S. Work Projects Administration, Library Service Sec- 
tion, "Instruction and Work Procedure; WPA Bulletin No. 1* (pp. 
8 and 9 of typewritten "Suggestions . * . ." for State Library 
Project Supervisors, n.d.)- 


the region, a demonstration program should utilize existing local 
libraries as a nucleus or framework upon which to build the per- 
manent tax-supported service system. 

In all of the above-mentioned programs, including the 
WPA, this policy has been followed. The Rosenwald demonstration 
was largely devoted to extending the service of existing public 
libraries. The TVA, which seriously considered the possibility 
of setting up its own organization to serve its employees di- 
rectly 39 wisely decided to contract with an existing library to 
provide area-wide service, in accord with the Authority's estab- 
lished policy of working through local institutions wherever pos- 

The WPA likewise builds its demonstration library service 
around town and village libraries wherever they exist. This does 
not mean that it encourages the continuance of independent, over- 
lapping or economically unsound units of service. By pointing 
out the obvious advantages of pooling limited resources for bet- 
ter service to all parties concerned, it urges weak units to con- 
tract with neighboring city or county libraries to form strong, 
area-wide library systems capable of adequate permanent support. 
Even private club or association libraries are Invited to become 
a part of the demonstration program by making their collections 
available to the public at large, and by supporting the movement 
for permanent tax-support. 

9* Formal contractual agreements. Formal contracts with 
local governments and library boards benefit a library demonstra- 
tion program in three ways* They give each community served a 
sense of proprietorship, responsibility, or tangible participation 
in a co-operative enterprise (a "stake" in it, so to speak). They 
assure the demonstration of certain definite financial support 
in addition to that provided by the assisting agency. Finally, 
they accustom county and local authorities to associating con- 
tractual agreements with the provision of library service an Im- 
portant factor In Itself, since so many rural communities can ob- 
tain better permanent service by contracting with a neighboring 
city or county than by attempting to support Independent libraries 
of their ovn. 

All TVA library service is arranged by contract between 

^othrook and Harrlt, op. cit.. p. 659. 


the library furnishing the service, the TVA, and the Tennessee 
Department of Education. Similarly, contracts were used in 
Rosenwald county library demonstrations. Most WPA library 
service projects now negotiate definite agreements with responsi- 
ble representatives of each community served when demonstration 
service is begun. Its early experience revealed that without 
some such formal commitment to active participation individual 
communities tend to accept the demonstration as a federally- sub- 
sidized service, and thus fall to work for permanent library tax 
support. As part of its advisory aid to individual state-vide 
projects the Library Service Section in Washington assists proj- 
ect supervisors in drawing up contracts suited to their particu- 
lar needs. 

10. A definite time limit. All of the foundation demon- 
strations referred to above have had definite time limits, rang- 
ing from three to five years. The Rosenwald experiment matched 
local "new money" dollar for dollar the first two years; one dol- 
lar for two the second two years; and one dollar for four the 
fifth and final year. 42 The TVA library service is likewise a 
"withdrawing" program, in which the monthly sums contributed by 
the Authority decrease at specified Intervals up to the end of 
the contract period (which is usually from one to two or three 
years) . 

In theory WPA library demonstrations are also expected to 
terminate after a reasonable period of full operation. In prac- 
tice, however, many individual demonstrations have failed to set 
a time limit on their assistance to a particular region. The 
fact that WPA library projects are operated primarily to create 
needed employment makes it extremely difficult to withdraw demon- 
stration aid in the face of local pressure for its continuance. 
Nevertheless, experience has shown that without some definite 
limit on outside assistance it eventually becomes increasingly 
difficult to interest the communities served in establishing com- 
plete and permanent library service at their own expense. Under 
these circumstances it is absolutely essential that WPA library 

40 Ibid.. p. 660. 

41 Wllson and Wight, op* oit., Appendix 'A, pp. 232-36. 

42 Ibid., p. vi. 


demonstrations focus their efforts on obtaining tax support while 
local enthusiasm for the new service is at its peak (usually 
within twelve or eighteen months). It such support is attained, 
the WPA may Justifiably continue its help until the permanent li- 
brary system Is able to take over the service. However, if the 
issue is defeated the demonstration should be completely with- 
drawn and its facilities transferred to another region. 

11. A sound unit for permanent service. The selection 
of proper demonstration units is one of the most important prob- 
lems confronting a State WPA Library Supervisor and the project 
sponsor. A single county may constitute a satisfactory- unit, if 
it is large enough, populous enough, and wealthy enough to pro- 
vide adequate support for a permanent library system. However, 
the areas still lacking tax-supported library service are largely 
rural; and most predominantly rural counties are not economically 
able to support independent area-wide libraries. 

The trend In WPA library project administration is to se- 
lect demonstration areas on the basis of bi- or trl-county or re- 
gional units, consisting of groups of counties which, by pooling 
their resources, can maintain a strong, centrally administered 
library system. This method necessarily Involves long-range 
planning for an entire state or region if the grouping of coun- 
ties is to be performed Intelligently; but compared with the in- 
dependent development of single county units it offers far greater 
ultimate returns? 

The Fraser Valley and Prince Edward Island library demon- 
strations were both organized on a regional basis, as are the 
several TVA multi-county library programs. Since 1938 the WPA 
has also endeavored, where feasible, to demonstrate the advantages 
of regional units in its library assistance program. By the end 
of 1939 regional WPA demonstrations were under consideration or 
in operation in Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, 
South Carolina, Texas, and Washington. During the quarter 
July-September, 1941, there were 22 regional WPA library service 
demonstrations giving service to 71 individual counties. 44 Per- 

43 Edward A. Chapman, "WPA Library Demonstrations Serve 
Millions of Readers, 8 ALA Bulletin. XXXIV (April, 1940), 231. 

. Work Projects Administration, Library Service Sec 
tion, Quarterly report: "Summary of WPA Library Service Activi- 
ties" (July-September, 1941). (Typewritten.) 


haps the most outstanding example of such a multi- county undertak- 
ing was the Tidewater Regional Library demonstration, in which 
eight counties in northeastern Virginia Joined together to de- 
velop an area-wide system of public and school library service 
with WPA assistance. 45 

12. Impartial, area-wide service. As a democratic social 
institution the American public library is expected to serve all 
citizens equally regardless of race, religion, or political be- 
liefs. Thus, a library demonstration should endeavor to bring at 
least a minimum standard of service impartially to all of the in- 
habitants of its service area. 

In the South, where state laws require the separate pro- 
vision of certain facilities for negroes, the principal of equal 
service -for all has by no means been observed, either with regard 
to libraries (a permissive function) or education (a mandatory 
service). One of the primary objectives of the Rosenwald dem- 
onstrations was the stimulation of library service in the South 
on a county-wide basis to all residents, urban and rural, white 
and black, in school and out. 

For a library service demonstration the concept of impar- 
tial, area-wide service involves not only area-wide coverage 
through the establishment of branches, deposit stations, and 
bookmobile service, but also the provision of materials suited to 
the different Interests, reading abilities, and language limita- 
tions of its patrons. Just as the Prince Edward Island demonstra- 
tion provided a collection of books in French for its readers, so 
some of the WPA library demonstrations in the South provide spe- 
cial collections of books "by and about Negroes * for lending sta- 
tions in colored communities. Also it is the policy of WPA-as- 
slsted programs to achieve as complete area-wide library coverage 
as possible by means of branches and rotating deposits and by 
bookmobile service to isolated communities, wherever it Is perma- 
nently desirable* Experience seems to Indicate that, If only 
from the point of view of expediency, a library demonstration 
should provide area-wide, equal service in order to win the whole- 

45 W. A. Moon, H The Tidewater Regional Public Library In 
Virginia, 11 ALA Bulletin . XXXV (October 1, 1941), 471-79. 

46 Eliza Atkins G-leason, The Southern Negro and the Public 
Library (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1941). 


hearted support of all communities in the region for a permanent 
public library system. 

13. Citizens' library committees. In keeping with the 
principle of "grass roots" administration, a sound library demon- 
stration should work closely with a citizens 1 library committee. 
Such a group, far better than the assisting agency, can organize 
and carry through a successful campaign for permanent tax support. 
Moreover, the formation of county and local citizens library or- 
ganizations helps to identify the library program as a community 
enterprise, which "belongs to" the people themselves. Thus, the 
WPA officially prescribes the formation of citizens' library com- 
mittees in its operating procedure for library projects. In 
fact, it is careful to refer to each individual demonstration 
(not only in its press and radio publicity, but in the lettering 
on bookmobiles) as "THE ...... COUNTY LIBRARY, ASSISTED BY THE 

WPA/ not as "TEE ...... COUNTY WPA LIBRARY" or "THE WPA ...... 

COUNTY LIBRARY DEMONSTRATION. 11 The importance with which the WPA 
regards the assistance of citizens 1 library committees is sug- 
gested by the fact that a whole chapter of its project supervi- 

sors* manual is devoted to explaining their organization, func- 

tions, and responsibilities. 

14. Co-operation with local organizations. Co-operation 
with local organizations and local chapters of state and national 
organizations is essential to winning full community support for 

a library service demonstration. Just as the Prince Edward Island 
demonstration co-operated closely with local" committees, with the 
schools, and with such organizations as the Women's Institute, 
the Catholic Women's League, the Gyro Clubs, and the Imperial Or- 
der of the Daughters of the Empire, so WPA library demonstrations 
cultivate the support of local civic and social groups in the 
areas to be served. 

In some communities the agricultural extension agent, the 
home demonstration worker, the superintendent of schools, and the 

U.S. Work Projects Administration, "Operating Procedure 
for Library Service Projects" (Operating Procedure G-5), Section 
20 . (Mimeographed . ) 

. Work Projects Administration, Library Service Sec- 
tion, "Preliminary Supervisors' Manual for the Operation of a 
State-wide Library Service Project" (September, 1940). (Mimeo- 
graphed. ) 


county nurse give their backing to the demonstration, which, in 
turn, helps them in their work with the people. Similar services 
(through assistance with reading courses, forum discussions, and 
occasional club programs) to local societies, such as the P.T.A., 
the Farm Bureau Federation, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, and 
the 4-H clubs, producers or growers associations, and service 
clubs, are also rendered by WPA library demonstrations. Such co- 
operation frequently brings the local library movement not only 
the official endorsement of these community groups, but also the 
good will and active support of many of their individual members 
as well. 

15. Public relations Since the ultimate success of a 
library demonstration is directly dependent upon the willingness 
of the participating communities to support a new public service, 
a sound demonstration must give considerable attention to its 
"public relations." Good service has long been called the best 
"good-will builder" a library system can have. Nevertheless, 
even excellent service may not be fully used or appreciated by 
communities that have been "getting along all right without it * 
for generations unless its benefits are specifically called to 
their attention. Thus, in an undertaking aimed at achieving a 
definite goal, such as a demonstration, some planned program of 
publicity or directed "education 11 is usually needed to supplement 
good service, if the object of the undertaking is to be attained. 

In October, 1940, the Director of the Library Service 
Section announced that B WPA library service projects have adopted, 

as a major supporting activity to project service demonstrations, 

a program of publicity interpretative of public library service." 

Thus, it is the practice of WPA library project supervisors to 
utilize local press and radio facilities extensively in demonstra- 
tion areas to keep the residents informed concerning the alms and 
services of public libraries and community developments affecting 
their own library program. Project supervisors also appear be- 
fore many local clubs and societies to explain the cost and bene- 
fits of permanent library service and the method of obtaining it. 
In addition, they may develop exhibits, posters, and simple leaf- 

49 Edward A. Chapman, *Work Projects Administration State- 
wide Library Service Projects" (a paper presented before the 
Southeastern Library Association Conference, Savannah, Georgia, 
October 25, 1940), p. 11. (Multlgraphed. ) 

lets for use at county fairs, and other gatherings. 

An outstanding example of planned demonstration publicity 
was worked out by the Minnesota state-wide WPA project, which 
made excellent local use of centrally-prepared press releases, 
library leaflets, citizens 1 committee news letters, and radio 
scripts. Two series of library posters, developed by WPA art 
projects in Illinois and New York for use on library demonstra- 
tions, are also worthy of special mention. 

One question of major importance has been deliberately 
omitted from the "code of best practice" suggested above. This 
concerns a library demonstration's proper relation to schools. 
It was omitted because the best practice for a particular demon- 
stration depends entirely upon numerous local school and library 
conditions* Thus, each demonstration must decide for Itself the 
nature and extent of its service to schools. The inclusion of 
service to schools as an integral part of a library demonstration 
program is usually desirable in areas where both school and pub- 
lic library service? are largely undeveloped, and where the re- 
sources for their support are very limited. The important point 
is that each demonstration adopt a definite policy in the matter. 
If it gives school service, it should obtain commensurate support 
from school funds, and it should not permit this type of service 
so to monopolize its resources that its success as a public li- 
brary demonstration is in any way Jeopardized. 

The over-all evaluation of the WPA library assistance 
program is presented in detail separately in chapter viii. At 
this point, therefore, a sentence will suffice to summarize the 
findings of chapter v. In administrative organization WPA li- 
brary assistance today is as basically sound as its relation to 
the parent agency permits it to be; and with regard to library 
demonstration practice it appears to be not only sound but pro- 
gressive in its willingness to experiment with new operational 
techniques. Admittedly, state-wide projects vary considerably in 
their adherence to the program's stated objectives. The forego- 
ing observation, therefore, applies to the program as a whole, 
but Is not an appraisal of any Individual WPA-asslsted demonstra- 





The first five chapters of this study have dealt with the 
evolution of federal assistance to libraries and the development, 
organization, and achievement of the entire WPA library assistance 
program. Chapters vi and vii present two case studies of individ- 
ual state-wide WPA library projects to show by contrasting exam- 
ples how this program has been adapted at the state level to two 
strikingly different sets of local conditions. Both projects are 
treated as of the spring of 1941. The first state treated, South 
Carolina, Illustrates the opportunistic utilization of federal 
aid, by distributing its benefits as widely as possible in a short 
time in order to give every section of the state a share in the 
program from the outset. In the second case presented* that of 
Minnesota, the available federal assistance was concentrated in 
a limited number of demonstrations for a selected group of coun- 
ties, according to a planned program of library development for 
the state. 

In South Carolina, _ where (with three exceptions) county- 
wide library service was previously virtually non-existent, proj- 
ect operation was planned by the WPA itself, with a view toward 
providing every county In the state with at least some measure 
of area-wide service. In Minnesota, on the other hand, the proj- 
ect was planned and controlled by the state's authorized library 
agency, which preferred to limit area-wide demonstrations to se- 
lected unserved counties best suited to the establishment of per- 
manent, tax-supported library systems. In the cne instance, 
therefore, the program was developed to produce as extensive im- 
mediate benefits as possible; in the other the governing consid- 
eration was the achievement of gains that could be readily main- 
tained by local and county library taxes. 

South Carolina was ohosen as representative of the South- 



east region, although in many respects Louisiana, Georgia, or 
Mississippi might have served as well. Like the rest of the re- 
gion, South Carolina is relatively high in its proportion of chil- 
dren and Negroes, in farm tenancy, in illiteracy and rural popu- 
lation, and in the proportion of its population without library 
service; and it is low in economic ability to support public serv- 
ices. Yet the situation in any of these characteristics is not 
so extreme as to distort its value as an example. It holds spe- 
cial interest for this study because of the wide spatial coverage 
of its WPA library program and because, lacking an active state 
agency, most of its library development in recent years has re- 
sulted directly from WPA project assistance. 

The Setting for Library Development 

Like the entire social and economic development of a re- 
gion, library progress in a given state is conditioned, directly 
or indirectly, by the characteristics of its climate, topography, 
and natural resources, by its actual and potential wealth, and by 
the composition and distribution of its population. Thus, any 
realistic study of an individual state's library problem must be- 
gin with a consideration of its geographic setting, its social 
and economic structure, and its existing library facilities. Ac- 
cordingly, these factors are summarized briefly to depict the 
background against which WPA library assistance developed in 
South Carolina. 

geography. 1 South Carolina, the smallest of the states 
in the Southeast region, occupies a triangular area of some 30,000 
square miles. One side of the triangle lies along the Atlantic 
ocean. The other two sides meet in the northwest corner of the 
state In what is known as its "Alpine" section, a hilly region 
where the elevation ranges from 1,000 to 3,000 feet. The climate 
of the state is warm, and very humid near the sea. Cotton, to- 
bacco, and corn are the principal crops, which are produced 
largely by tenant farmer s. The weaving of cotton textiles Is the 
state l s most Important single Industry. Thus Its manufacturing 
centers, largely located la the northwestern part of the state, 

Based on data from the VPA Writers 1 Program publication, 
South Carolina, a Guide to the Palmetto State (New York: Oxford 
University Press, 1941). 


are essentially factory towns, with separate "mill villages" for 
the workers in the spinning mills. 

The 46 counties of the state range in size from 389 to 
1,214 square miles. The commercial life of the state focuses in 
11 regional trading centers, each of which serves from one to six 
counties. Several counties in the southern part of the state are 
in the trade areas of Augusta and Savannah, Georgia. 

Geographically, economically, and even culturally South 
Carolina is divided into distinct sections. Parallelling the sea- 
board is the coastal plain, with its swamps and its agricultural 
inland. In the center of the state Is the upper pine belt and 
the sand hill region, which includes the state capital, Columbia. 
From this section the land rises to the Piedmont Plateau and the 
hill country in the northwest, which constitutes the third basic 
region within the state. 

Population. 2 In 1940 South Carolina had a total popula- 
tion of 1,899,804, an increase of almost 10 per cent over 1930. 
The most striking characteristics of the population are its high 
proportion of Negroes and children, its low educational level, 
and its low degree of urbanization. More than 42 per cent of the 
inhabitants of South Carolina are Negroes. Approximately half of 
its population is under twenty years of age. The state has a re- 
production rate of 125, as against 96 for the nation as a whole. 
In 1930, when the percentage of illiteracy (among persons ten 
years of age and over) for the United States was 4.3 per cent, 
South Carolina, with 14.9 per cent of its population (over ten) 
illiterate, ranked higher than any other state in this regard. 
In 1940 less than 15 per cent of its Inhabitants over twenty-five 
years of age had completed 8 years of schooling, and almost 35 
per cent had not completed even 5 years. 

South Carolina is overwhelmingly a rural state, since 
less than 25 per cent of its Inhabitants live in cities or towns 
of 2,500 or more persons* Only four of its 46 count'ies have cit- 
ies of over 20,000, and only six others have towns with as many 
as 10,000 inhabitants. Twenty- two, or almost half of its coun- 
ties, have no communities with as many as 5,000 inhabitants; and 

This section is based on U.S. Bureau of the Census, Fif- 
teenth Census of the United States: 1930, and Sixteenth Census of 
the United States; 1940 (Washington: Government Printing Office). 


11 do not even contain villages of 2,500 persons. The total popu- 
lation of Individual counties ranges from 10,000 to 136,000 in- 
habitants. However, as can be seen from Figure 13, only 10, or 
less than one-fourth, have as many as 50,000 persons living within 
their borders. 

Economic ability In any Index of economic or financial 
ability South Carolina rants near the bottom in comparison with 
the other 47 states. For example, in 1940, when the average per 
capita income of the nation was $573, it was $281 in South Caro- 
lina, which was 45th in order of rank among all the states. In 
assessed valuation of units upon which library service depends for 
support South Carolina is also relatively poor. Thus less than 
20 per cent of its counties have as much as $10,000,000 in as- 
sessed valuation (the amount needed to raise $10,000 by a 1-mill 
library tax levy) whereas 70 per cent of the counties in North 
Carolina and more than half of those in Louisiana have valuations 
of $10,000,000 or more. Moreover, it is the only state in the 
Southeast in which no single county has a valuation as high as 
$500 per capita. 

The county as a unit for library service- Under modern 
conditions of transportation a single area-wide library system 
can provide adequate service throughout a territory of 5,000 
square miles from a centrally located headquarters collection. 
Yet In South Carolina no county has an area in excess of 1,300 
square miles, and 41 of its 46 counties contain less than 1,000 
square miles. 

The minimum population standard recommended as a basis 
for an efficient unit for area wide county or regional library 
service is from 40,000 to 50,000 Inhabitants. Preferably such 
a unit will be located in the natural trade area of a central li- 
brary containing at least 20,000 volumes. Figure 13 shows that 
almost one- third of the counties in South Carolina do not have 
populations of even 25,000. In fact, less than one-fourth of 

^J.S. Department of Commerce, Survey of Current Business, 
August, 1941, 'Income Payments by States," p. 14. 

4 Tommle Dora Barker, Libraries of the South (Chicago: 
American Library Association, 1936), p. 38. 

Louis R. Wilson and Edward A. Wight, County Library Serv- 
ice in the South (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1935), p. 


them have cities of 10,000 or more, which could serve as head- 
quarters for a county library system. 

The minimum amount of support required to maintain ade- 
quately a county or regional library system has been variously 
set at $15,000 to $20,000 and $25, 000. 6 As can be seen from Fig- 
ure 14 only five counties in South Carolina could raise as much 
as $15,000 for library support by levying the usual 1-mill tax. 
Single counties, therefore, are too small and too poor to consti- 
tute efficient units for library organization in South Carolina. 

The implications of the South Carolina setting for the 
development of state-wide library service are clear. G-eographi- 
cally, if the support were equitably distributed and the service 
efficiently organized, this state should be able to provide all 
counties with a library program of at least minimum adequacy. 
The climate is favorable for year-round bookmobile service, and 
the natural and human resources of the state are sufficient for 
such a program. However, the joint evils of depleted land, farm 
tenancy, and a single cash crop economy, together with absentee 
ownership of many manufacturing enterprises, seriously limits the 
state's ability to support strong, independent county libraries 
along traditional lines of organization. 

The need for supporting entirely separate facilities for 
Negroes, coupled with the fact that few counties could support 
even one area-wide library, makes It evident that state and fed- 
eral aid and a multi-county or regional pattern of library organ- 
ization offers the only efficient means of developing permanent 
service throughout South Carolina. The WPA library program has 
provided the state at least temporarily with the stimulus of fed- 
eral aid. This chapter considers how this aid has been used and 
with what results. 

Library development In South Carolina before the WPA. 
When the WPA state-wide library project was inaugurated in South 
Carolina (In 1935) the state was still largely without free tax- 
supported area-wide public library service. It had laws permit- 
ting counties, townships, and municipal corporations to establish 
public libraries by a majority vote and to levy a tax up to two 
mills for their support. In 1934 these laws were extended to per- 

Louis R. Wilson, The geography of Reading (Chicago: Uni- 
versity of Chicago Press, 1938), p. 83. 


ri s 

a I 


c " 

1 ^ 






mit the establishment of regional library systems. However, li- 
brary development, left entirely to local initiative, had been 
limited to the larger urban centers for the most part; and serv- 
ice to Negroes was virtually non-existent before WPA assistance 
wag made available. At that time South Carolina's rank among the 
other states in library development was 46th (on the basis of per 
cent of population registered, per capita annual circulation, per 
capita annual total expenditure, per capita annual expenditure 
for books, number of volumes held per capita, and number of vol- 
umes added per capita in one year). 7 Of all the Southeastern 
states Mississippi alone ranked lower. 

Unlike some of the other Southeastern states, South Caro- 
lina has no tax- supported state library agency or commission, no 
accredited institution for training public, school, and college 
librarians and library extension workers, and no state supervisor 
of school libraries. There is a state library association of 
practising librarians, a citizens 1 library association, and, nomi- 
nally, a State Library Board. This board was established in 1929 
to serve as the state's official extension agency; but to date 
the legislature has not seen fit to give it a regular appropria- 
tion with which to function. Thus, while each of the above groups 
are spasmodically active in behalf of library development, they 
apparently lack the leadership needed to co-ordinate their efforts 
effectively. As a result, when the WPA project came into being, 
it tended to assume some of the functions of a state agency, since 
it alone was in a position to devote funds and personnel to the 
actual development of library service throughout the state. 

The moat noteworthy effort in behalf of state-wide library 
development before 1935 was a Citizens 1 Conference on the Library 
Needs of South Carolina, held on January 4-5, 1934, at Clem son 
Agricultural College. This meeting, which was attended by "rep- 
resentatives of such groups as the Grange, the Parent-Teachers 
Association, the State Education Association, the American Asso- 
ciation of University Women, the Federation of Women's Clubs, the 
State Council of Farm Women, the Agricultural Extension Service, 
the South Carolina Council, Business and Professional Women's 


Clubs," discussed the present status of South Carolina's llbra- 


Ibid., p. 186. Barker, op. olt.. p. 10. 


ries, adopted a program for library development, 9 and appointed 
a follow-up committee. 

Another important event in |outh Carolina's pre-WPA li- 
brary history was the selection of two of its counties, Charleston 
and Richland, as locations for Rosenwald county library demonstra- 
tions. The former received $80,000, the latter $75,000 for five- 
year demonstrations of county-wide white and Negro service in 
1930. However, since both counties are so atypical of the state 
as a whole (in population, wealth, and urbanization) it is ques- 
tionable how much these demonstrations could be expected to af- 
fect the development of area-wide library service in the state 
as a whole. 

A third episode of importance to library development in 
this state was the employment of Dr. Helen Gordon Stewart as a 
field agent to organize a legislative canpalgn for state aid and 
support for an active state library agency. Kiss Stewart was en- 
gaged in 1939 with a special fund obtained by the State Library 
Board. For several months she traveled throughout the state, or- 
ganizing citizen interest in behalf of library development with 
state aid. Unfortunately, however, the legislature failed to 
pass the library assistance bill, and her work came to an end. 
In 1948 the State Library Board was still without any financial 
support . 

Since no state agency has published annual statistics on 
South Carolina libraries, it is well-nigh impossible to trace 
their development from year to year. Fortunately for this study, 
however, data on "the public library and public school library 
situation as it existed in South Carolina January 1, 1932" was 
compiled and published at Clemson College for the Citizens 1 Con- 
ference referred to above; and this publication clearly reveals 
the conditions with which the WPA library project had to deal. 

According to this survey,- In 1932 there were 56 so-called 
"public libraries 11 In South Carolina. Of these only 30 were sup- 
ported wholly or In part by public funds (15 wholly and 15 in 
part). The remaining 26 were dependent for their continued opera- 

9 The text of this "program 11 appears in Ibid. * pp. 174-75. 

Mary E. Frayser, The Libraries of South Carolina (South 
Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station of Clemson Agricultural 
College, Bttlletin 292), October, 1933. 


tion upon subscriptions, rentals, and donations. Some were ap- 
parently without any regular support. Some were semi-private. 
Some did not permit their boots to circulate. Only 6 of the en- 
tire 56 libraries had as much as $5,000 annual income. The total 
library support for the state was $168,832, or 10 cents per cap- 
ita (compared to 37 cents per capita for the United States as a 
whole) , 

The total collections of these libraries amounted to 
304,756 volumes, or .12 volumes per capita for the state (com- 
pared with .82 per capita for the nation). Their total circula- 
tion was 1,097,439 volumes per year, or .63 volumes per capita 
(compared with 3.67 per capita for the United States). Of the 
thirty libraries receiving "some public support 11 only five had 
collections of 10,000 volumes or more. Less than one-fourth of 
the entire 56 libraries were known to be cataloged. Less than 
one-half were reported as being "open daily except Sunday, " even 
for a few hours. All told, according to this study, not a single 
library in the state was up to the American Library Association 
standard in either book provision or income. 

In terms of area-wide coverage South Carolina's lack of 
library service is perhaps even more striking.' As shown in Fig- 
ure 15, there were in 1932 only three counties giving systematic 
countyr-wide service (including the two counties then operated as 
Rosenwald demonstrations). This map also locates the 18 local 
libraries with incomes of at least $1,000 and the 12 others re- 
ceiving at least "some 8 support from public funds. The 30 "pub- 
licly-supported" libraries are situated in only 25 of the state's 
46 counties. Thus, by simple subtraction it becomes evident that 
before federal assistance was made available for library develop- 
ment 21 counties (with an aggregate population of 535,450) were 
without a single tax-supported library within their borders. 

The differences in availability of library service to 
white and Negro populations as& to urban and rural inhabitants 
also characterize the fundamental inequalities in the state's 
pattern of library distribution. In 1932 more than 60 per cent 
of the state's entire population was without any public library 
service. In rural areas (which then included almost 80 per cent 
of the population) more than 75 per cent of the people were wlth- 

., p. 13. 


out service. Almost 94 per cent of the urban population, on the 
other hand, had at least some type of library service at that 
time. Since only 3 counties were giving any regular service to 
Negroes, the total per cent of population without service was ac- 
tually far in excess of 60 per cent. The proportions cited above 
erroneously credit the entire population (white and Negro) of each 
town or village with a library as being served. 

In school library service the differences between white 
and Negro facilities were equally striking in 1932. At that time, 
for example, 2,123, or over 90 per cent, of the Negro elementary 
schools were without any library books whatever, while less than 
40 per cent of the white schools had no book collections. At the 
high school level almost 80 per cent of the Negro schools lacked 
libraries, as opposed to less than 14 per cent of the white 
schools. The total school library expenditures for the year 1931- 
32 (including both elementary and high schools) were $15,581 for 
white schools and $728 for those serving Negroes. 

Summary. The situation which confronted the WPA library 
project in South Carolina can be summarized briefly as follows. 
Except in three counties and a few of the larger urban centers, 
free public library service was practically non-existent. The 
size, population, and economic ability of individual counties, 
togtther with the increased cost of maintaining separate facili- 
ties for white and Negro Inhabitants, clearly Indicated a need 
for developing new library services on a regional Instead of an 
independent county basis of organization and support. Few local 
libraries had become sufficiently well entrenched to hamper se- 
riously the development of larger-unit library systems* Citizen 
groups, as evidenced by the Clems on College conference, were ap- 
parently interested In working to extend the benefits of library 
service to the many unserved sections of the state. The great 
need, then, when the WPA project was organized in 1935, was for 
assistance and leadership In planning and stimulating the estab- 
lishment of library service realistically adapted to the poten- 
tialities and needs of the varying natural regions of South Caro- 

1 *Ibid . pp. 26-31. 


The State-vide WPA Library Project 

The WPA library project In South Carolina was established 
in 1935, when all former, locally-sponsored FERA projects were 
reorganized on a state-wide basis for WPA operation. This section 
briefly describes the project's objectives and organization, 
traces the scope of its activity through June, 1941, and discusses 
such aspects of its administration and service as may be worthy 
of special mention. 

Objectives and organization. Prom the beginning the basic 
objective of the South Carolina state-wide WPA library project has 
been to extend library service to all parts of the state formerly 
without it in the hope that such service would be perpetuated lo- 
cally with support from public funds after a reasonable period of 
demonstration. This objective was expected to be achieved by en- 
gaging directly in the following types of activity: 

1. Providing workers to assist established libraries in ex- 
panding their services. 

2. Establishing local libraries or reading rooms in communi- 
ties previously without a local library. 

3. Extending library service to entire counties by bookmobile 
and deposit service from county depository headquarters. 

As the State Supervisor has described the function of the project 
in a recent annual report: "It is serving somewhat in the ca- 
pacity of a state library agency, in that it has been able to 
initiate library service, co-ordinate services, set up standards, 
stimulate development of services by assisting in the purchase of 
bookmobiles and by loaning project-owned books, supplementing the 
services of existing libraries, offering a cataloging and "book 
selection service, and supplying the supervision of a profession- 
ally trained staff." 13 

In keeping with the policy of spreading the benefits of 
the program to all areas without library service, the project 
undertook at the outaet to make its facilities eqtially available 
to all counties alike. Thus it early developed an administrative 

13 Pederal Works Agency, Work Projects Administration, 
State of South Carolina, Statewide Library Project Annual Report, 
July 1, 1939-June 30, 1940, " Introduction. (Hlmeographed.) 


organization large enough to provide adequate direct supervision 
over operating units in all parts of the state. The personnel 
of the state-wide project, therefore, consists of a State Super- 
visor and her staff, four district supervisors, each with at 
least three assistants and several area supervisors, and numerous 
unit supervisors or project foremen in immediate charge of groups 
of individual certified workers. {See Fig. 17, p. 156, for a map 
of the project's administrative district and area subdivisions.) 
Following the plan of dual supervision described in chapter v 
(up. 98-140), the district supervisors are "administratively re- 
sponsible" to their respective district managers and "technically 
responsible" to tne State Library Project Supervisor. In prac- 
tice the latter officer actually directs most aspects of project 
planning and operation. 

The specific details of this state-wide project organiza- 
tion appear in Figure 16. Under this arrangement the State Super- 
visor, administratively and technically responsible for the en- 
tire project, is guided and assisted in planning project develop- 
ment by the Library Project Advisory Board and the State Board of 
Education which (owing to the lack of an active state library 
agency) is the project's official sponsor. Immediately responsi- 
ble to the State Supervisor are her assistant supervisor and the 
librarian in charge of the project's central book selection and 
processing unit. 

In each of the state's four administrative districts the 
district supervisor is responsible for project operation through- 
out the district; and her three assistant supervisors, respec- 
tively, are in charge of the training of workers in public rela- 
tions and general library methods, library extension techniques, 
and book repair. The various area supervisors, also responsible 
to the district supervisors, are each In charge of actual project 
operation in a given area, usually comprising from one to five 
counties (as shown in Fig. 17). Under their direction the fore- 
men or supervisors of individual units oversee the dally activi- 
ties of the certified library aides. 

Advisory assistance and oo-operatlon at the county level 
Is available to the area supervisors through each county's citi- 
zen's library committee and a ocunty co-sponsor (usually the 
county board cf education or a county library board) * Finally, 
where workers are placed In established libraries the local 11- 

State VPA 

State Director | 

of Community i 

Service Programs! 

State Director 

of Public Actlv 

ities Programs 


f ^ lAdvlsory I 
' ""iCommitteel 


Library Project 


District PA 

I County Citizens ' 
Library Committees 


Dist. Supv. of 

Community Service 



Library Project 


District Supv. 
(Publicity & Training) 


District Supv, 

(Lib. Extension) 

District Supv. 
(Bk Mending & Repair) 

[ Area Supervisor | [Area Supervisor} 


| Unit Supervisor | | Unit Supervisor} 

Local Libraries 

Line of administrative responsibility 
Line of technical responsibility 
Line of advice and cooperation 

Pig. 16. Organization of the South Carolina State-vide 
WPA Library Project in 


brarian usually exercises some supervision over their day-to-day 

The supervisory staff required by this organizational 
plan would include at least 40 persons (down through the area su- 
pervisors) if all positions were filled as indicated. Actually, 
since permissible quotas of non-relief personnel are related di- 
rectly to the number of certified workers employed, this staff 
usually numbers only 25 or 30 persons. In March, 1941, it had 28 
members, including 9 trained librarians and 19 with some experi- 
ence and in-service training. Thus, many district and assistant 
district supervisors serve also part of the time as area supervi- 
sors for selected groups of counties. 

Development , scope, and achievement by June, 1941 . Un- 
like some state-wide library projects, it cannot be said of the 
South Carolina program that it began in a limited, sphere and ex- 
panded slowly until its benefits ultimately reached into all sec- 
tions of the state. As early as March, 1936, the State Supervi- 
sor reported that $182,000 of federal funds were available for 
library relief employment, and that traveling book exchanges or 
extension work in schools and local libraries were already being 
carried on in all counties, with a staff of 734 women. By the 
middle of 1937,23 bookmobiles, obtained with WPA assistance, had 
been put into operation to provide county-wide library service 
in as many formerly unserved counties. All told, the project ob- 
tained 33 different bookmobiles and at its peak employed more 
than 1,000 persons throughout the state. Thus, from the begin- 
ning it has been a policy of South Carolina's WPA organization 
to spread the benefits of federal library aid as far as possible 
while the opportunity lasted. 

Since July, 1941, owing to the increase in private employ- 
ment, the library assistance program, like the rest of the WPA, 
has greatly reduced the scope of its operations. Throughout the 
nation many weak units and entire demonstrations in counties 
least likely to establish permanent tax-supported library serv- 
ice hare been discontinued. The statistical data on the Sputh 
Carolina project, therefore, are presented for the month of March, 

14 Ida Belle Entrekin, "WPA Library Projects in South 
Carolina 11 (Mimeographed statement prepared by the State Supervi- 
sor for rtltase to the press, radio, and the American Library As- 


1941, a period during which project activity was by no means at 
its peak, but while units were still operating in every county in 
the state. These basic statistics on project operation appear in 
Table 16. 







Number of units operated 

Certified, workers. ......* 











Number of counties assisted... 

WPA-operated county bookmo- 




Purchased "by WPA --*- 

19 , 826 



Owned by counties 












Juvenile * * 


















6 666 

112 023 

Juvenile . , 





305 , 148 



Total circulation 7/1/38- 



3 887 077 

Estimated population served. 




on official project reports. Unless otherwise 
noted, the data refer to project operation as of March, 1941. 

A *unit H refers to a library, school, bookmending work- 
shop, reading room, deposit station, or bookmobile in which a 
library project worker or group of workers is employed. 

According to this factual summary, the WPA had at that 
time 688 employees (including supervisory personnel) engaged in 
library service activities in 46 counties. Among the certified 


(relief) workers represented in this figure 246 were staffing va- 
rious school library services , 174 were employed in 25 regional 
book repair units, 104 were public library aides or attendants, 
and 50 were operating area-wide bookmobile service in 29 differ- 
ent counties. Twenty-eight were Negroes, engaged in providing 
various library services to members of their own race in 12 coun- 

Tne data on book stock, circulation, and expenditures in- 
volved in the operation of library services operated by WPA work- 
ers give a clear indication of the extent of this program. (Sta- 
tistics on the cost of the project are presented in Table 17.) 





Sponsors 1 


July, 1940- June, 1941 
July, 1935-June, 1941 

$ 478,118 

$285,586 b 
936,576 b 

$ 763,704 

a Source: WPA Division of Statistics, Washington, D.C. 

Includes amounts credited for space, heat, light, equip- 
ment, and the use of books belonging to various co-sponsors. 

Moreover, the relative importance of WPA assistance to libraries 
in South Carolina becomes evident when these figures are studied 
in relation to those on library service In the state in 1932. 
For example, in 1932 South Carolina 1 s public libraries had a book 
stock of 304,756 volumes and an annual circulation of less than 
1,100,000, whereas in 1941 WPA-operated library systems had a 
stock of 450,000 volumes (including 20,000 bought with federal 
funds) and a book circulation of approximately 3,500,000* Simi- 
larly, in contrast with the $168,831 spent for library service 
throughout the state in 1932, the WPA alone spent $478,118 as Its 
share in the cost of library project operation during the fiscal 
year 1940-41. 

Unfortunately the statistics on library conditions in 
1932 and In 1941 are not actually comparable. The former data 


Include only public libraries, while the latter refer to a pro- 
gram which includes both public and school library service in 
many counties. Nevertheless, if these limitations are borne in 
mind, these comparisons clearly suggest the importance with which 
WPA library assistance is regarded in this state. All told, from 
1935 to 1941 the federal government spent over $2, 500, 000 on South 
Carolina's library work relief program, or more than twice what the 
state itself would normally spend for public libraries in the same 
period of time (at the rate of expenditure cited in 1932). 

In terms of library coverage equally striking contrasts 
appear when area-wide service before WPA is compared with that 
available in 1941. Whereas in 1932 there were only 3 counties 
with rural library service (see Fig, 15), in 1941,36 of the state's 
46 counties were receiving county-wide service by bookmobile, ei- 
ther from established libraries or from WPA-operated library serv- 
ice demonstrations (see Pig. 18). 

In 8 of the 10 counties still without area-wide service 
in 1941, county-wide demonstrations had been attempted and aban- 
doned. Most of these counties were simply too small or too poor 
to be able to support an Independent, permanent library system. 
In all 10 of them, however, the WPA is still making some service 
available to individual towns and schools. In March, 1941, it 
had 84 workers in these underprivileged counties, operating or 
assisting in maintaining 9 county depository centers, 6 community 
libraries or reading rooms, and 44 school library collections. 

Summary. The scope of library project assistance in 
South Carolina can be summarized by pointing out that as a result 
of its state-wide policy of organization and operation the WPA 
has made some form of library service however thinly distributed 
and however temporary it may be available to every county in the 
state. It has also stimulated the expenditure of approximately 
$50,000 annually by counties participating in the program, as 
cash contributions of "new money 1 * for library service. Finally, 
it has brought thousands of dollars worth of additional effort to 
bear upon library development (in terms of space, heat, light, 
equipment, supplies, book collections, and citizen effort). Un- 
fortunately the amount of money contributed by individual coun- 
ties is rarely enough to support a library system alone* The 
real permanence of the program's benefits, therefore, can not be 
measured until WPA aid is completely withdrawn and county-wide 


services are either supported from county funds or discontinued. 

Tvo Patterns of WPA Library Assistance 

The South Carolina state-wide WPA library project has 
followed two ma^or patterns in furthering the development of li- 
brary service in individual counties. One pattern has been used 
in counties with some existing library facilities. The other has 
been developed for counties with no library service before the 
WPA. A few specific examples will illustrate the kinds of serv- 
ice that are made available in each Instance. 

Counties with existing local libraries. Wherever a county 
had a central town or city with a library of its own, WPA proce- 
dure was to organize a county-wide system of library service on a 
demonstration basis, using this library as a nucleus or headquar- 
ters for the county. By providing workers, limited funds,- se- 
lected new books, and assistance in securing a bookmobile, it se- 
cured contributions of funds from county and school authorities, 
and obtained the full co-operation of the original public library, 
which, as center of a county system, stood to gain much at little 
additional expense to itself. Lancaster, Greenwood, and Sumter 
counties are examples in which this pattern was carried out with 

In Lancaster, a county of 27,000 population in 1930, the 
county seat, a town of 3,500 inhabitants, had a small "public li- 
brary" of 1,700 volumes before the WPA. This library had an an- 
nual income of $300, obtained in part from public funds. It was 
kept open twice a week by a volunteer "librarian." Its book cir- 
culation was not even recorded. 

In 1936 a demonstration of county-wide library service 
was inaugurated, using this library as a nucleus. The county 
made a cash contribution to the support of the undertaking. The 
VPA provided workers, loaned some new books, and rented a chassis 
for a bookmobile. Shortly after the service was begun the county 
erected a new library building with PWA assistance. In 1937 a 
1-mlll tax (providing approximately $7,000 annually) was obtained 
for the new county library, and a trained librarian was engaged 
to administer the service. Thanks to WPA assistance in staffing 

All data on libraries In South Carolina before the WPA 
are taken from Prayser, op. elt. 


the program during its first years, this library was able to ap- 
ply a relatively high proportion of its new funds to the systematic 
strengthening of its book collection. Thus, by 1941 it had in- 
creased its own book stock to over 20,000 volumes, or more than 
ten times the size of collection with which the demonstration was 
begun. In 1939 this county-wide library system had a circulation 
of 274,420. Today it regularly devotes a portion of its funds 
to a branch library for Negroes, housed in a local Negro training 
school. This branch has a regular Negro attendant and a WPA Ne- 
gro library aide. Its collection, consisting largely of books 
given to the community by Harvey D. Kelsey, a Negro philanthropist 
of Washington, D.C., includes more than 8,000 volumes* 

The pattern of development in Greenwood county took much 
the same form as it did in Lancaster- In Greenwood, a city of 
11,000, a Carnegie library, with a books-took of 7,500 volumes, 
became the nucleus of a county library. In 1937 a 1-mill tax was 
obtained for its support, and separate cataloging and county de- 
partments were created to handle the increase in staff work. As 
a municipal library in 1932 it had had a circulation of 40,000. 
As a county library in 1939 its circulation was 106,922. By 1941 
it had a staff of 3 trained librarians and 4 WPA aides, and an 
income close to $10,000. 

Although Sumter county did not begin its county-wide dem- 
onstration until 1938, it also followed the pattern described 
above with success. A city of approximately 12,000 in 1930, it 
had a Carnegie library with an income of $ 1,750 and a bookstock 
of 5,500 volumes. During 1939 it obtained a 1/2-mlll county tax, 
which early in 1941 was Increased to a full mill (to produce an 
income of between $8,000 and $10,000). In 1932 the Sumter public 
library had a circulation of 33,000, In 1939, as a full-fledged 
county library it circulated 166,998 volumes. By 1941 it was 
serving a Negro community, a Negro school, and (by bookmobile and 
deposit service) more than 35 different schools and lending cen- 
ters throughout the county. Including nearly 500. selected titlti 
on loan from the WPA the book stock of this library system had 
Increased to almost 25,000 volumes. 

16 "Recent Library Development In South Carolina* 1 (a mimeo- 
graphed pamphlet, compiled In 1939 and issued In 1940, without 
Imprint, by the WPA state-wide library project). 


Alken, Darlington, Orangeburg, Cherokee, Chester, and 
Newberry are other counties where the above pattern has been fol- 
lowed with more or less success. Some of these counties now have 
a regular 1-mill library tax and a librarian paid by the county. 
Others have been continued on a demonstration basis with annual 
appropriations from their county delegations. 

Counties with no public libraries. WE A assistance to 
counties formerly without any library facilities has followed 
quite a different pattern. In some of these counties the WPA did 
attempt for a time to develop demonstrations of area-wide service, 
but abandoned the effort when It became evident that the resources 
of such counties were simply inadequate to support permanent, in- 
dependent library systems. By 1941, therefore, its pattern of 
aid to these counties consisted merely in helping to staff and 
service local reading rooms In communities willing and able to 
make token contributions to their support. 

Barnwell, Hampton, Jasper, and McCormick are examples of 
this group of counties. All four of these counties lie along the 
Georgia border , in the poorest section of the state. They are 
all small In area, completely rural, extremely poor, high in Il- 
literacy, and have populations consisting largely of tenant Ne- 
groes. Thus they are entirely lacking in conditions favorable 
for county library development* 

Barnwell, with a population of 14,000 Negroes and only 
7,000 white persons (in 1930) had no library whatever before the 
WPA period. In 1937 the state-wide project started a reading 
room in the county seat, a village of 1,800 persons. From this 
center a few deposits were sent out to other communities; and In 
1939 another reading room was established In Williston, a town of 
1,000. In 1939 these two reading rooms had a combined book stock 
of 585 volumes. They had 417 borrowers and a circulation of 
3,660 for the year* By 1941 the WPA was operating 7 units (in- 
cluding 5 schools) In this county. In March of that year it re- 
ported a total book stock of 4,570 for the county, including 372 
volumes on loan from the WPA. Admittedly this can still hardly 
be called a library; but It may perhaps serve to strengthen the 
resources of a regional library system if this county ever be- 
comes part of such a multi-county unit. With an assessed valua- 
tion of less than $3,500,000, It can never develop a sound county- 
wide library program without substantial outside aid. 


Hampton county, with a population of 10,000 Negroes and 
7,000 white persons in 1930 had no libraries whatever until 1936, 
when the WPA opened a community reading room at the county seat, 
a village of 900 inhabitants. By the end of 1939 this "library" 
had 1,900 volumes, 778 registered borrowers, and an annual circu- 
lation of 4,279. In 1941 the WPA was providing token service in 
4 schools and 2 reading rooms in various parts of the county. 

Jasper, a county with barely 10,000 inhabitants (of whom 
two-thirds were Negroes) in 1930, has only a small WPA reading 
room operated in co-operation with the Home Demonstration Clubs 
and two school WPA deposit libraries. In 1939 this reading room 
had 45 books, 98 borrowers, and a circulation of 966. By March, 
1941 j the total bookstock in the county was 1,600 volumes, includ- 
ing 250 loaned by the WPA. With an assessed valuation of less 
than $3,000,000, Jasper can scarcely hope to establish permanent 
county-wide service except by pooling its resources with several 
adjoining counties on a regional basis. 

McCormick, the fourth example in this group, is equally 
unable to support an adequate library system of its own. It is 
a county of barely 400 square miles, and had in 1940 a population 
of 10,367 (representing a loss of 1,104 since 1930). Here also 
the Negroes outnumber white persons 2 to 1. In 1939 its assessed 
valuation was less than $1,500,000. Library service in 1941 con- 
sisted of 3 community reading rooms operated by the WPA in McCor- 
miok, a village of 1,456 inhabitants, Parksvllle (168 residents) 
ajid Plum Branch (142 residents). The WPA also staffs 3 school 
library units and maintains a mending unit at the county seat to 
serve several adjoining counties. 

In some instances other poor counties, such as Bamberg, 
Calhoun, and Saluda, have endeavored to maintain county-wide 
service, begun by the WPA, on a "shoe-string" appropriation. 
Without real ability to support such a system, however, such ef- 
forts can at best produce but feeble results. Unfortunately the 
likelihood of obtaining state aid for assisting counties in the 
poor section of the state is rather remote. Since their Inhabi- 
tants are largely tenant Negroes, they contribute little to state 
revenues, and many of them naturally tend to patronize the more 
convenient trade centers in Georgia in preference to smaller or 
more distant cities in their own state. 

The only way in which counties unable to support inde- 


pendent county-wide library systems can hope to obtain the bene- 
fits of such service is by joining with several adjacent counties 
to form a regional unit that is capable of maintaining a sound 
and substantial, completely integrated library program. 

As a final comment on WPA patterns of assistance in South 
Carolina it snould be noted that the two patterns described above 
evolved gradually and were not consciously formulated and adopted 
as project policy. In the beginning a single pattern was applied 
to all counties. The second pattern emerged when it became evi- 
dent that the first could not be universally applied with success. 

Regional Library Demonstrations 

It has been pointed out that with very few exceptions the 
counties of South Carolina do not have sufficient taxable resources 
to support strong, independent, area-wide libraries. It has also 
been noted that with library service so largely undeveloped 
throughout the state in 1935 the WPA project had an excellent op- 
portunity to demonstrate the advantages of developing regional 
units for library organization and support. When the project 
started, however, there was no active state agency for libraries 
in South Carolina, and hence no plan or tentative blue-print upon 
which such a program might be based. Lacking any such pattern to 
guide them, the WPA authorities, acting under pressure to extend 
project benefits to all counties alike as quickly as possible, 
allowed independent county library demonstrations to develop al- 
most at random. Thus, with little understanding of the require- 
ments of an area-wide library system, many counties wholly unable 
to support a permanent library service program formed "county li- 
braries 8 almost overnight by making the necessary initial cash 
contribution to obtain a WPA demonstration and a shiny new book- 

With such a beginning it is not surprising that little 
has been accomplished In the development of regional library 
units. Several different combinations of counties have been con- 
sidered as potential locations for regional experiments (e.g*, 
Allendale-Barnwell-Hampton, &reenwood-Laurens-Newberry-Unlon, and 
Berkeley-Williamsburg) . However, by March, 1941, only two "re- 
gional demonstrations * had actually been organized. These two 
experiments, treated below, are the Colleton-Dorehester Bi-County 


LiDrary and the Tri-County Regional Library serving Georgetown, 
Marion, and Horry counties. 

i'he Colleton-Dor cheater Bi-County Library. Tne first at- 
tempt to develop a regional uni't for library service in Soutn 
Carolina began in Marcn, 1937, when a bi-county demonstration was 
started in Colleton and Dorchester counties. 

Colleton is a county of 1,048 square miles. It has a 
population of 26,268, including 14,019 (or 53 per cent) Negroes. 
Its county seat, Walterboro, which lies at the junction of two 
principal interstate highways, is a town of 3,300 persons. Since 
it is located near the center of both counties, Walterboro serves 
as the headquarters for the bi-county regional library. 

Dorchester, adjoining Colleton on its northeast border, 
contains only 569 square miles; and its population is 19,928, in- 
cluding 11,439 (or 59 per cent) Negroes. Its principal retail 
center is Summerville , a town of 3,023 inhabitants. Unli&e Col- 
leton, Dorchester has no centrally located community. Summerville, 
only 25 miles from Charleston, lies barely within the county's 
border, near its southeast end. St. G-eorge, a town of 1,900, 
lies at the other end of the county. 

Both counties are situated in the poor, southeastern sec- 
tion of the state. They are predominantly agricultural, rural, 
and undeveloped. Together they have an area of 1,617 square miles, 
a population of 46,000 (including over 25,000 Negroes), and (in 
1939) an assessed valuation of $7,500,000. 

Before the WPA there were three small, local "libraries* 
in these two counties. In Colleton County there was the Walter- 
boro Library Society with a collection of 3,000 volumes and $200 
annual support. In Dorchester Summerville had the "Timrod Li- 
brary, " a semi-private subscription circulating library with 
5,600 volumes and an income of $1,000 a year. St. George also 
had a "public library" with 1,200 volumes and flOO annual Income. 
Summerville alone had a paid B librarian. 11 

From the beginning the bl-county demonstration led some- 
thing of a H hand-to-mouth lt existence. Begun early in 1937, it 
drifted along for months without -a mobile distributing unit, and 
without strong support from the counties themselves. During its 
first year the project obtained a cash contribution of $770 from 
schools and Interested organisations representing both counties. 
The following year Colleton contributed only |69, although Dor- 


Chester raised $443, largely from the County Board of Education. 
During 1939-40 each county board gave less than $250 as a token 
contribution to the service. 

Because of various delays it was April, 1938 (or more than 
a year after its inauguration), before the demonstration was able 
to start county-wide service with a "confiscated" WPA truck. 
Moreover, it was not until December, 1939 (after almost three 
years of make-shift operation), that a regular bookmobile was ob- 

Although co-operating committees of citizens had worked 
with the project since 1937 an official Bi-County Library Board 
was not organized until late in 1940. Since then the area super- 
visor In charge of the demonstration has evidently tried to get 
this group to accept increasing responsibility in planning the bi- 
county program and in making the residents of the area acquainted 
with the aims and functions of the project. In March, 1941, how- 
ever, the results were not very encouraging. At that time neither 
the Walterboro nor the Summerville libraries were yet whole- 
heartedly "sold 1 * on the idea of pooling their resources. 

According to 1941 reports, there were 37 WPA workers regu- 
larly employed on this bi-couaty demonstration. It had a total 
book stock of almost 15,000 volumes, including 1,500 on loan from 
the WPA. From time to time deposits of 150 volumes were being ex- 
changed between the two counties. 

Bookmobile service to schools, homes, and deposit stations 
throughout the bi-oounty area was being provided* Twice a month 
the traveling unit stopped at 60 different lending stops on 7 
scheduled routes, covering a circuit of over 2,000 miles. Two- 
thirds of its regular stops were at schools. Through the courtesy 
of the NYA each stop is clearly marked with a sturdy wooden sign 
(see Pig. 19); and each deposit station displays a notice announc- 
ing the date and time of the bookmobile's next scheduled visit. 

Negro library service is rendered largely through the Ne- 
gro schools by means of deposited collections selected from a 
stock of books donated by Harvey D. Kelsey, a Negro philanthropist 
of Washington, B.C. 

On the whole, this regional library demonstration cannot 
be considered an entirely successful experiment* It appears to 
have been undertaken without sufficient planning and equipment, 
and without an assurance of whole-hearted community co-operation. 


Fig. 19. Waiting for the bookmobile "some- 
where in Colletin's back woods." 

From the beginning it seems that the WPA had had to take the ini- 
tiative to keep the demonstration going. The pre-existing local 
libraries nominally were co-operating in the program, but not 
without reservations. Finally, the financial support contributed 
by the two counties was far too small to constitute a satisfac- 
tory basis for a strong and permanent area-wide library program. 
From the evidence available it appears to be at least open to 
question whether the authorities and tax-payers of these two 
counties ever seriously intended to support a permanent self- 
sufficient regional library system, 

The Tri-Gounty Regional Library. The only other regional 
library demonstration undertaken by the South Carolina WPA proj- 
ect is the Tri-County experiment embracing Georgetown* Marion, 

and Horry counties. This demonstration, begun in the fall of 

1940, represents a marked improvement over the Collet on-Dorchester 
project, since the tri-county area was somewhat more favorably 
suited to the development of an area-wide program, and since the 
entire undertaking was more systematically planned from the begin- 

The three counties comprising the tri-county region occiapy 

Horry is pronounced u oh-ree. a 


approximately 2,450 square miles in the extreme eastern corner of 
the state. As can be seen in Figure 20, Georgetown and Horry 
counties, bordering the ocean from Charleston County to North 
Carolina, contain approximately one-third of the state's total 
coastal shoreline. The northeast boundary of Horry County fol- 
lows the North Carolina state line due northwest for about 40 
miles. Marion County lies Immediately to the west of Horry County. 
Geographically Georgetown and Horry are typical of the coastal 
region, consisting of low marshy swamps and sandy flats. 

Table 18 compares the three counties with regard to area, 
population, urbanization, assessed valuation, and library facili- 
ties in 1932. From these data It can be seen that Horry occupies 
almost one-half the total regional area and has almost half of 
the total population but barely one- third of the assessed valua- 
tion* G-eorgetown, on the other hand, with barely one-fourth of 
the regions population, has easily one-third of its total area 
and assessed valuation. Marion Is by far the smallest of the 
three counties, yet alone has two cities of more than 5,000 in- 
habitants* The total assessed valuation of the region Is approx- 
imately $15,000,000. Thus, while none of the counties Individ- 
ually could maintain a strong area-wide library system, together 
they could support such a program at a reasonable standard of ade- 

Unlike the Bi-County area this region has grown rapidly 
in population since 1930. During the decade ending In 1940 Col- 
leton County increased only 1.7 per cent and Dorchester 6.1 per 
cent, while Marlon increased 10.6 per cent and G-eorgetown and 
Horry increased 21.2 and 31.9 per cent respectively. The entire 
Tri-County region increased its population by more than 20,000 
persons, or almost 24 per cent, during the same period. 

The total population of the three counties in 1940 was 
108,410. Of this number only 20,763, or one-fifth of the region's 
inhabitants, live in places of 2,500 or more persons. In other 
words these counties are predominantly rural. Throughout the en- 
tire region there are only four communities that can be called 
urban. Georgetown, the seat of Georgetown County, has a popula- 
tion of 5,559. Next to Charleston It is the largest coastal city 
In the state. Conway, Kerry's principal trading center, is a 
thriving city of 5,000 which had barely 3,000 Inhabitants in 1930. 
Marlon County has only two towns worthy of mention. They are 





County headquarters for the regional library 
Public libraries or lending stations 
x School libraries with WPA workers 

Fig. 20. South Carolina's WPA-assisted Tri-County Re- 
gional Library area. 











Area in 
square miles 





1940 population 
White.*. ..... 





Neero ..*. . 

15 375 














Per cent Negro. 
Per cent urban. 

Per cent in- 
crease 1930- 









Assessed valua- 
tion for 1939 

Library hold- 
ings (vols.) 
in 1932 







12 f 388 


Library support 
in 1932 



$ 420 



Sources: Sixteenth Census of the United^ States; 1939 Re- 
port of the Comptroller of South Carolina: and Mary E. Frayser, 
Libraries of South Carolina, op. pit" 


Marlon (5,746 Inhabitants) and Mullins (4,392 inhabitants) which 
lie 8 miles apart in the northern section of the county. 

Besides these four urban centers the Trl-County region 
has 3 villages of from 1,000 to 2,000 inhabitants. The largest 
of these is Andrews, a town of 2,008 persons, on the western 
edge of Georgetown County. The other two are in Horry County. 
Myrtle Beach, a resort town of 1,597, is on the ocean; and Loris, 
a village of 1,238 lies inland., near the North Carolina state 

In Georgetown County the principal agricultural crops, 
formerly consisting of rice and indigo, are corn and cotton. 
Logging and the manufacture of turpentine from an extensive growth 
of native pine provide a second major source of revenue for the 
county. The city of Georgetown, once an important plantation 
port, now depends heavily upon a large pulp mill to support a 
large proportion of its population. Finally, along the entire 
seaboard, a substantial trade is carried on in various species of 
native sea food, including fish, oysters, shrimp, and crabs. 

Marion county Is dominated by the two cities of Marlon 
and Mullins. Marion is a quiet, attractive village, with a neat 
public square and well landscaped parks, a pre- twentieth century 
court house, and a good, though conservative, public library, 

said to be "the first tax-supported public library in South Caro- 
Una." Today the industries of Marlon Include a large lumber 

mill, a veneer and brick plant, an oil mill, and an iron works on 
the outskirts of town. 

Mullins, the largest tobacco market in the state, is a 
"lackadaisical little town" except In late summer, when, with the 
annual tobacco auctions in progress, it becomes "a bustling me- 
tropolis" for two to three months. 19 At this time it is also an 
Important center for marketing cotton, the other principal crop 
In this section of the state. 

Before the WPA there were three local public libraries in 
the tri-county region two In Marlon County and one in George- 
town. The one In Marion alone was entirely tax-supported. In 
1932 It had a collection of almost 10,000 volumes and an annual 

18 Federal Writers' Project, 
19 Ibid., p. 368. 


income of 53,762. Mull ins also had a library of 3,000 volumes 
at this time; but Its support was only $420. Georgetown' s li- 
brary, with a book stock of 2,000, existed on less than $100 a 
year, obtained from subscriptions and fees. 

Before the tri-county regional experiment was undertaken 
all three counties had participated individually in the WPA li- 
brary assistance program. Each had attempted to establish inde- 
pendent area-wide library service with a WPA-rented bookmobile 
and a small loan of project-owned books. Conway, the principal 
city of Horry County, had also organized an independent public 
library, in 1938. 

In the suiamer of 1940 these counties became interested in 
tr.e possibilities of pooling their resources to develop area-wide 
library service on a regional basis, and the WPA offered to assist 
them in organizing a permanent tri-county library system. As a 
first step it made a survey of the entire area, to provide a basis 
for planning a sound regional demonstration. Detailed data for 
each county were compiled on its area, location, road conditions, 
population, wealth, industries, assessed valuation, indebtedness, 
schools, organizations, and on its total public, private, and 
school library facilities. From this survey a plan was developed 
whereby existing libraries could be used to provide a nucleus for 
an integrated public and school library service for the whole 

The special features of the regional program were to be: 

1. The merger of the public and county libraries in each 

2. The pooling of the book collections of all three counties. 

3. The interchange of borrowing privileges throughout the 

4. The development of a union catalog of holdings of all li- 

5. The interloan of any title upon request. 

6* The periodic rotation of deposit collections from county 
to county. 

7* Contractual agreements between the WPA and the participating 
counties and libraries. 

8. The election of an interlocking regional library board. 


In September the WPA engaged a professionally trained 
supervisor to serve temporarily as Tri-County Regional Librarian 
It rented a new bookmobile- chassis to replace one that had worn 
out in Horry County, and loaned 1,200 new volumes to the demon- 
stration to supplement the nucleus of titles already available 
in the region. Upon taking up her new position the supervisor 
drew up contracts merging existing county and city library facil- 
ities in each county and organised a regional library board rep- 
resenting the county boards of education, the participating pub- 
lic libraries, and the Commissioners of each county. 

Since each county already had a bookmobile and one or 
more basic book collections, a headquarters for area-wide service 
was established in each county, instead of one to serve all three 
counties. Two of these centers, naturally, were located in 
G-eorgetown and Conway. In Marion County the regional headquar- 
ters, originally in Marion, was moved to Mullins early in 1941, 
as a new library building with facilities to house it there was 
then nearlng completion. 

During the winter of 1940-41 bookmobile routes were re- 
scheduled to disregard county lines and to provide more efficient 
operation and coverage. An inventory of each county's total book 
stock was taken and numerous unclassified non-fiction titles In 
the various county collections were given Dewey Decimal numbers. 
Borrowing privileges were then extended to all registered resi- 
dents of the entire region by all of the participating libraries. 
In January a systematic bi-monthly plan of rotating books was in- 
augurated when Horry County transferred 300 of its volumes to 
Marion, Marion transferred 300 of Its books to Georgetown, and 
Georgetown transferred a collection of 300 titles to Horry. Need- 
less to say, a record of these transfers was kept at each county 
headquarters with the complete regional inventory so that any ti- 
tle in the system could be located promptly if needed for an in- 

Since a basic service objective of this demptt&tratloti has 
been to make every book In the region available to a borrower la 
any of the three counties, special requests were an important 
feature of the program. Lists of the new books loaned to the 
demonstration by the WPA were carried by each bookmobile, to as- 
sist rural borrowers and school teachers in requesting specific 
titles to be delivered on its next return trip* Title* not on 


the truck were located through the union catalog at Its county 
headquarters. If a given title was not held by any library in 
the system it was placed on a "want list" and considered for pur- 
chase when book orders were being compiled. Among the 124 titles 
requested during the month of March, 1941, were Uncle Tom's Cabin. 
Robinson Crusoe, Tobacco Road, Vasari's Lives of the Painters. 
Rebecca, Out of the Fog, Me in Kampf , Oliver Wiswell, Poems of 
William Blake, and For Whom the Bell Tolls. 

In addition to its function of integrating the existing 
library facilities of the region and extending bookmobile service 
to rural areas and schools (see Fig. 21) this regional library 
demonstration has also brought about the establishment of new lo- 
cal libraries and reading rooms in a few communities formerly 
without any kind of library oenter. In Horry County, for example, 
it has helped the towns of Loris (1,238 population) and Myrtle 
Beach (1,597 population) to start small libraries of their own as 
branches of the regional library system. In G-eorgetown County it 
has begun community reading rooms with deposit collections in 
Andrews (2,008 population) and Murr ell's Inlet (210 population). 
(See Pig* 22.) 

By the end of March, 1941, the Tri-County Regional Library 
demonstration was assisting or operating a total of 23 different 
units, including 4 established public libraries, 4 reading rooms, 
a mending unit, and 15 school libraries. It had 47 workers on 
the project, including public library aides, school library and 
reading room attendants, book menders, and bookmobile operators 
and aides. The total bookstock of the system included over 30,000 
volumes, of which 13,000 were owned by the counties, 18,000 by the 
public libraries of Marion, Mullins, and Conway, and 2,500 by the 
UFA. During March the three bookmobiles traveled 2,812 miles on 
37 routes, Raking 286 stops. At this tiae the entire demonstra- 
tion had almost 10,000 registered borrowers and a total circula- 
tion of approximately 18,000 a month. 

Service to the 46,000 Negroes who comprise 42 per oent of 
the region's population has been deliberately postponed by those 
in charge of the demonstration. Since such service as these folk 
receive throughout the state is characteristically extended from 
agencies which were established to serve the white population, it 
was deemed expedient to concentrate first on developing a strong 
and permanent regional system, without forcing the racial issue. 


Fig. 21. Direct bookmobile service to rural 
homes In Horry County. 

M ifM - 


Pig. 22 VPA community reading room at; 

Murrell's Inlet (Georgetown County)* 


With such great differences as exist in these counties in the 
proportion of Negroes to white persons, this issue might well 
have become a serious point of contention among the participants 
to the demonstration, had it been raised when contracts were be- 
ing considered. It might even have caused the entire undertaking 
to fall. 

This Tri-County Regional Library demonstration was visited 
in behalf of this study during the month of May, 1941. At that 
time it was well organized and ready to operate smoothly until a 
regular income could be obtained from the participating counties 
for its independent maintenance. Unfortunately the Regional Li- 
brarian who had developed the program from its beginning left the 
project in June, 1941, to move to another state. With the demon- 
stration barely under way one cannot predict its ultimate result. 
However, by sound planning and organization the program has al- 
ready provided the counties concerned with an adequate framework 
for a permanent regional library system, if when WPA aid is fi- 
nally withdrawn they really want area-wide service continued. 

Service to Special Groups of Readers 

The preceding portions of this chapter have emphasized 
the WPA's function of assisting in general public library devel- 
opment in Soul;h Carolina. This section treats some of the library 
project's services to special groups of readers, such as children 
and teachers in public schools, Negroes, and organized groups of 
citizens with specific Interests. 

Service to schools. Since there la no active state li- 
brary agency in South Carolina the state-wide library project is 
officially sponsored by the State Board of Education, and individ- 
ual area-wide demonstrations are oo-sponsored by county Boards of 
Education. Unlike aany states South Carolina has no state-sup- 
ported program for the development of school libraries. Thus the 
WPA in this state has undertaken to include library 'assistance 
to schools as a regular feature of most of its county-wide public 
library demonstrations. 

There are five types of assistance whiah the South Qaro- 
lina PA project renders in behalf of school libraries tnroughout 
the state. These five types of assistance are: 

1. Furnishing and training VPA workers to staff school libra- 

.ries or to assist regular librarians or teacher-librarians* 

2. Supplementing school library resources with deposit col- 
lections and serving teachers and pupils directly by in- 
cluding school stops on"all bookmobile routes. 

3. Cataloging uncataloged school libraries. 

4. Assisting schools in selecting additions to their own li- 

5. Repairing damaged or worn books for school libraries. 

From such statistics as are available It is not possible 
to show precisely what proportion of the facilities of the South 
Carolina project are devoted to the improvement of school library 
service. However, figures on employment, cataloging, book repair, 
and circulation indicate that over half of the entire program 
benefits school libraries directly. 

In March, 1941, almost half of all certified workers on 
the project were employed directly in staffing or assisting more 
than 250 school libraries. At that time over half of the circu- 
lation from bookmobiles throughout the state occurred during 
stops at schools. From 1937 to 1940 almost half of the catalog- 
Ing done by WPA workers was for school libraries; and during the 
same period more than three times as many books were repaired for 
schools as for public libraries. All told, by June, 1940, the 
project had cataloged 18,000 volumes and had repaired more than 
1,000,000 volumes for the school libraries of South Carolina. In 
the spring of 1941 they were still cataloging school library books 
at the rate of 500 to 700 a month and were repairing from 8,000 
to 10,000 school library volumes a month* During 1938-'39 the 

schools directly under the library project had a book stock of 

208,986 volumes, 69,732 borrowers, and a circulation of 1,701,154. 

Service to Negroes. In a recent study of library service 
to Negroes in the South It is pointed out that in the 13 states 
comprising the Southern Region only one-fifth of the Negro pop- 
ulation are provided with public library service, and that of the 

20 Federal Works Agenoy, Vork Projects Administration, 
State of South Carolina, ^Statewide Library Project Annual Report, 
July, 1938-July, 1939.* (Mimeographed.) 

^Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, 
Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, 
Texas, and Virginia. 


6,000,000 Negroes without library service 2,000,000 live in areas 
where such service is available to white inhabitants but is de- 
nied to Negroes. 82 In 1932 only three counties (Greenville, 
Charleston, and Richland) were giving some library service to Ne- 
groes. In 1939, according to Mrs. (Jleason's study (which does 
not- include WPA-assisted service) almost 700,000 Negroes, or 85 

per cent of the state's total Negro population, were without ac- 

cess to library facilities. 

In commenting upon the attitude of state and local offi- 
cials toward providing services for Negroes, the above-mentioned 
study makes the interesting observation that most southern com- 
munities are far less interested in developing adequate Negro li- 

brary facilities than they are in merely "being able to say that 

something is being done for the Negro." South Carolina is cer- 

tainly no exception in this regard. Thus, the extent to which 
the WPA has developed library service for Negroes is hardly com- 
parable to what it has done for the state's white population. By 
comparison with the situation in 1932, however, WPA-assisted li- 
brary facilities for Negroes in 1941 represent a substantial gain* 

As early as 1936 the South Carolina WPA library project 
began to assist in the development of library service for Negroes. 
It placed WPA workers in a number of the larger Negro school li- 
braries, which were then opened to the Negro public. It began a 
system of service by small deposits in Negro community centers 
in some counties and assisted established libraries in opening 
and staffing Negro branches in certain cities and towns. It even 
undertook to provide bookmobile service to rural Negroes in a 
few counties. Finally, it co-operated with philanthropic groups 
In preparing and distributing collections of books donated for 
the exclusive use of Negroes. 

In Karch, 1941, library units operated by WPA workers 
were serving an estimated population of almost 50,000 Negroes in 
12 different counties (see Fig* 23). Most of these units were 
in schools, since It is difficult to secure adequate separate 
quarters for Negro public libraries and since the proportion of 
adult Negroes in this state, who read with facility is relatively 

Eliza A* Old a son, The Southern Negro and the Public Li- 
brary {Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1941), p. 108. 

Ibld. . p. 186. 


small, The total annual circulation of WPA-assisted Negro libra- 
ries since 1938 has been from 140,000 to 150,000. During most of 
this time the project was employing from 25 to 30 regular workers 
on these Negro units. 

The book stock of these library facilities for Negroes 
now totals more than 35,000 volumes, including about 500 new vol- 
umes purchased with WPA funds. These project-owned books, se- 
lected with a view toward supplementing existing collections with 
recent materials suited to the interests of this racial group, 
emphasize popular works by and about the Negro such as those rec- 
ommended by the Julius Rosenwald Fund. 5 These special Negro 
collections, loaned as deposits to individual Negro lending units, 
constitute a notably popular feature of the service. As a rule 
the permanent holdings of Negro libraries in South Carolina are 
not Inspiring, having been obtained as donations from philan- 
thropic individuals or as discards from other library systems. 

Among the outstanding examples of WPA-asslsted library 
service to Negroes are the units in Greenville and Lancaster 
counties. The city of Greenville has two Negro library units, 
each staffed with a full-time librarian and a WPA aide. One is 
at the Sterling High School, which has a large, we 11- equipped li- 
brary of its own. The other is the Phyllis Wheat ley Library, a 
regular Negro branch of the Greenville Public Library, which 
serves the entire county. One day each week the library's book- 
mobile makes a separate circuit of the county to give direct serv- 
ice to rural Negroes. In Lancaster the Kelsey Library, likewise 
a Negro branch of the public library, is the center of Negro li- 
brary service for the county. It has a book collection of almost 
9,000 volumes, and has a trained, full-time Negro librarian and a 
WPA assistant. It delivers monthly deposits of about 75 books to 
six Negro schools in the county; and five teachers from other 
schools come in once a month to borrow 30 or 40 volumes each. 

Thret special aspects of library service to Negroes In 
this state concern the Jeanes Industrial Teachers, the "Harvey 
Kelsey Collections/ and the "Faith Cabin Libraries. 11 

The Jeanes teachers, privately financed Negro specialists 


Tennessee State Department of Education, The Negro, a 
Selected List for School Libraries of Books by or about the Negro 
in Africa and America (Nashville. Tennessee; revised and reprinted 
through the courtesy of the Julius Rosenwald Fund, 1941). 


in vocational education, are traveling advisers who assist colored 
schools throughout the state in developing practical instruction 
in manual arts and crafts. Owing to the lack of separate bookmo- 
bile facilities for Negroes, these teachers have helped the WPA 
project materially in many counties by personally assisting in 
the distribution of deposit collections of books to rural Negro 
schools not otherwise reached by county library demonstrations. 

The "Harvey Kelsey Collections" refer to books collected 
by Harvey Kelsey, a Negro of Washington, B.C., for the purpose of 
providing the colored inhabitants of his native state, South Caro- 
lina, with free library materials. The Kelsey Library in Lancas- 
ter was begun around a nucleus of books obtained through his ef- 
forts* The Colleton-Dorchester Bi-County service co Negroes was 
also inaugurated with a collection of several tfr --usand volumes 
obtained through his efforts in 1938. In the spring of 1939 de- 
posits from this collection were distributed by project workers 
to some 20 Negro schools in the two counties. 

The "Faith Cabin Libraries" constitute another attempt to 
make books available to Negroes by soliciting gifts from persons 
outside of the state* Oddly enough these libraries -came into be- 
ing through the devotion of a young, white clergyman to an old 
Negro schoolmaster who had befriended him during his childhood 
and had helped him to complete his education. In the midst of 
the depression this young man, Willie Lee Buff Ington, desirous of 
doing something for his old Negro friend, wrote to selected per- 
sons In the North asking for books to start a small library for 
the colored folk near his childhood home. In this way he obtained 
a substantial number of volumes which he then presented to "Uncle 
Eurlah" Simpklns, the old school master. With these books as a 
nucleus more were collected, and on a wooded knoll overlooking 
"Uncle Eury's* home In Saluda County,, the nearby Negroes built a 
log lodge to house the collection and christened it their "Faith 
Cabin Library,* sinoe It had been "founded on faith* (see Figs, 
24 and 25). 

From this beginning similar libraries were developed by 
and for the Negroes In a number of other communities, such as 
Helton (Anderson County), Plumb Branch (McCormick), Pendleton 
(Anderson), and St. Matthews (Galhoun). All told more than 20 
such M libraries* are said to have started as a result of Willie 
Bufflngton's original Idea. Mo it of them hare relatively poor 


Pig. 24. The first "Faith Cabin Library," 
Saluda County, South Carolina. 

Pig. 25. "Uncle Euriah" Simpkins 


collections of books, since they depend upon donations for most 
of their holdings. A few of them, however, staffed with WPA 
workers, are giving service that is more adequate than that of- 
fered to Negroes by most communities in the state. 

The Faith Cabin Library at Pendleton has given particu- 
larly good service with very limited resources. Its WPA worker, 
a fine type of Negro, has developed a popular shelf of books by 
Negro authors, has obtained subscriptions for Negro periodicals, 
has sponsored successful reading clubs and contests, has organ- 
ized two regular story-hour groups, and has observed such occa- 
sions as Book Week and Health Week with special library programs. 
This library has its own collection of approximately 3,000 vol- 
umes, including many standard titles obtained as a gift from the 
Newark (H.J.) Public Library. 

In concluding this discussion of library service to Ne- 
groes in South Carolina it must be pointed out that in spite of 
the activities of established libraries, the WPA, and private 
philanthropy, few Negroes in this state yet have what a white com- 
munity would consider adequate library facilities. By and large, 
the books that are available in collections assembled for Negroes 
are exceedingly dull, or out of date, or both. Thanks to WPA as- 
sistance it can at least be said today in more communities than 
before that " something is being done for the Negro" to use Mrs. 
G-leason's apt phrase once again. However, in both quantitative 
and qualitative terms the library services available to Negroes 
in South Carolina still fall far short of any reasonable minimum 
standard of adequacy which might be named. 

Reading clubs and contests. Wherever groups of citizens 
with special interests have programs Involving the use of library 
materials the WPA state-wide project in South Carolina has en- 
deavored to adapt its county-wide services to meet these needs* 
Thus, Just as its area-wide demonstrations have been helped by 
the support of such organizations as County Councils of Farm Women, 
Home Demonstration Clubs, American Legion Auxiliary chapters, 
Parent-Teacher Associations, and local book clubs or literary so- 
cieties, so the project has provided these groups with special li- 
brary services from time to time. The most important vay in 
which it has assisted individual organizations has Ireen by co- 
sponsoring reading clubs and contests conducted for their members. 
The part played by the WPA library project in the reading prograa 

of one such organization Is treated in detail, as an example. 

In 1939 and again in 1940 the VPA co-operated with the 
South Carolina Home Economics Association in conducting reading 
contests for rural residents. Locally the contest was sponsored 
by Home Demonstration Clubs and other community groups. The ob- 
ject of the contest was to read and report on at least 8 non- 
fiction books from a selected list of titles. The VPA assisted 
the Association by preparing and mimeographing an appropriate 
list of approved books, by distributing these lists through its 
circulating outlets, and by maintaining as many of the recommended 
titles as possible on its bookmobile a, library stations, and read- 
ing rooms. VPA workers also collected book reports from contest- 
ants, and kept records to determine who had successfully completed 
the program when the contest closed. All participants fulfilling 
the eight-book requirement In six months were to receive a certi- 
ficate testifying to their achievement. 

In 1939 the book list for the contest included 245 titles. 
In* 1940 this was Increased to 440 to provide a wider choice. The 
groups of subjects in which reading was to be done were Food and 
Nutrition, Clothing and Home Management, Family Relations and 
Child Care, Personality and Etiquette, Social Sciences, Fine Arts, 
Everyday Science, Education and Vocations, History, Biography, 
Travel, and Religion. 

Each year 7 different counties participated actively in 
the program. In 1939 more than 400 books were read and reported 
on by the 47 persons winning certificates. In 1940 the circula- 
tion of required titles exceeded 500. In all, during these two 
contests more than 150 persons completed the program successfully, 
and many more took part but failed to finish In time or to turn 
In reports. on all their reading. In relation to the state's to- 
tal population this achievement la oertainly not remarkable; but 
to the rural participants, formerly without library service, this 
program of directed reading demonstrated how libraries eaa help 
then to learn about subjects affecting their everyday life. 

Two other groups with which the VPA library project has 
co-operated in the conduct of reading programs are the state 
Congress of Parents and Teachers and the American Legion Auxil- 
iary. The latter project, though not completed when data for this 
study were assembled, Is of special interest today because of its 
relation to the problem of national morale In civilian defense. 


The American Legion Auxiliary, in the Interest of increas- 
ing an understanding of democracy and an appreciation of our 
American heritage t decided to conduct an "American Way Reading 
Club" as its primary educational undertaking for 1941. Following 
the pattern of the Home Economics reading contest described above, 
the program was begun, with WPA assistance, early in the year. A 
list of approved books, based on Democracy, a reading guide pre- 
pared by Benson X. Landls for the American Library Association, 26 
vas mimeographed by the WPA and distributed throughout the state. 
The subjects Included In this list were: About Our People, Ameri- 
can Inventors and Inventions, American Literature, The American 
System, Democracy, Economic Issues, Interesting Places, Interna- 
tional Relations, Negroes, Our American Neighbors, Our Posses- 
sions, and The Story of Our Country. As In previous contests, 
the WPA supplied its lending outlets with as many of the recom- 
mended titles as possible. 

Early reports indicated that this program was arousing 
considerable interest in counties where there were enough books 
to meet the demand. In some communities teachers enrolled whole 
classes of school children as club members. In the Tri -County 
region two or more shelves on each bookmobile were devoted to 
tt American Way H books. Posters in local libraries also helped to 
Increase participation In several cities and towns. One county 

(Cherokee) reported a circulation of over 600 books to reading 

club enrolees during Its first month. 

As has been noted, the actual volume of reading that Is 
stimulated by club or contest programs Is not phenomenal* In a 
state as retarded In library development as South Carolina, how- 
ever, any undertaking which leads rural Inhabitants to read so- 
cially significant books cannot be dismissed as unimportant. The 
WPA project, therefore, welcomed the opportunity to adapt Its 
services to meet the library needs of special groups such as 
these in the realisation that in so doing It in turn wins their 
active support for the state-wide development of libraries. 

28 Benson Y* Landls, Democracy: A Reading List (Chicago: 
American Library Association, 1940} (Published as a supplement to 
the ALA Bullet In January, 1940). 

27 At the conclusion of the "American Ifay Reading Club* 
program certificates were awarded to 441 persons* 


Specialized Project Activities 

The preceding section of this chapter discusses some of 
the services the South Carolina state-wide library project has 
provided for special groups or classes of readers. This section 
deals with four of the projects specialized functions which in 
themselves do not constitute actual library service but which are 
important staff activities closely related to the success of the 
entire program* These four functions are cataloging and book se- 
lection services, book repair, workers' training, and publicity. 

Cataloging and book selection services. In South Caro- 
lina the VPA library project performs two kinds of cataloging and 
book selection service. Like other state-wide projects it se- 
lects and catalogs books bought with WPA funds and apportions 
them to individual counties for use in area-wide demonstrations. 
As a special feature not common to most WPA projects it also of- 
fers aid in book selection and "co-operative cataloging" services 
to established school and public libraries throughout the state. 

The selection and cataloging of project-owned books in 
South Carolina follows the practice of most state-wide projects 
and requires little description. The work is centralized at the 
state headquarters in a single unit consisting of a professionally 
trained supervisor, three skilled workers and one of intermediate 
grade. Books are classified according to the Dewey Decimal sys- 
tem, and both descriptive cataloging and subject headings are 
kept to a very simple form. By the end of June, 1940, this unit 
cataloged well over 25,000 volumes for project use. 

When this project began to offer its "co-operative cata- 
loging 11 service to school libraries in 1936 it was one of the 
first (if not the very first) of the states to undertake this 
function as a regular feature of WPA library assistance. Actu- 
ally the service referred to here is not "co-operative catalog- 
ing 11 as the term is usually applied (for example, to the arrange- 
ment among scholarly libraries for the co-operative cataloging of 
unusual titles not cataloged by* the Library of Congress). Instead 
it is simply the cataloging and classification by the WPA's cen- 
tral cataloging unit of the collections of established but previ- 
ously uncataloged libraries. 

The WPA's cataloging service for established libraries is 


called "co-operative" because the participating libraries submit 
author, title, and Imprint data Tor their books, the State Depart- 
ment of Education furnishes materials, W?A workers make, arrange, 
and deliver the necessary author, title, and subject cards, and 
the University of South Carolina provides quarters where the work 
is performed. The charge for the service is only three cents per 
title, just enough to reimburse the Department of Education for 
materials. Libraries that take advantage of the plan agree to 
keep their catalogs up-to-date, after they have been received. 
Each library using the service is sent a complete, properly filed 
dictionary catalog and a shelf list. Since one object of the 
plan Is to improve the holdings of school libraries only titles 
on standard lists (such as the A.L.A. Catalog, and the H. W. Wil- 
son Company's Standard Catalog) are cataloged. Recently the 
service was extended to include small public libraries with un- 
cataloged collections. 

By the end of June, 1940, the South Carolina project had 
cataloged 18,000 volumes for 70 different school libraries through- 
out the state. In the summer of 1941 the Library Service Section 

In Washington made extensive use of this state's experience when 

it prepared an official circular describing the organization 

and operation of a Central Cataloging Service for state-wide proj- 
ects. The "co-operative cataloging" service was established be- 
cause the great majority of school libraries in South Carolina 
lacked both the necessary bibliographical tools and the trained 
personnel needed to perform this function efficiently. 

In March, 1940, for a similar reason the WPA offered the 
services of its central technical unit to assist established li- 
braries in selecting books for purchase. During the first year 
this service has been used largely by small public libraries. 
The service is free and the local librarian is under no obliga- 
tion to follow the WPA 1 s suggestions. The librarian merely states 
the amount of money she wishes to spend, specifies roughly the 
proportion of fiction, non-fiction, adult, and juvenile titles 
she wants, and any special subjects for which specific recommen- 
dations are desired. The trained unit supervisor consults the 

28 U.S. Work Projects Administration, Central Cataloging 
Service ("WPA Technical Series, 11 Library Service Circular No. 4j 
Washington, B.C.; Work Projects Administration, October 31, 1941). 


book selection tools at her command, makes up a Hat meeting 
these specifications, and returns it to the library in question. 
During the first four months of operation the WPA ook selection 
service compiled tentative buying lists for eleven different li- 
braries throughout the state. 

Book repair ~~The rehabilitation of soiled, mutilated, or 
use-worn books and magazines is a housekeeping function of all 
library service systems. In the early days of library work relief 
it offered a simple and Inexpensive method of creating widespread 
employment for relatively unskilled persons on short notice, and 
was therefore one of the first types of activity provided for 
white-collar workers. In some states, as workers became profi- 
cient in this type of work it was extended to include actual bind- 
ing and rebinding. Moreover, some projects liberalized their ac- 
tivities to permit the extensive repair of school textbooks as 
well as library materials. By the end of 1938, however, when it 
became evident that such mending units were performing consider- 
able work which properly belonged to commercial binderies, the 
WPA rigidly curtailed such activities to eliminate all actual 
binding and the repair or textbooks by library projects. 


IN SOUTH CAROLINA, 1936-1941* 



For Public 






485,192 b 








172 993 

44 320 

T Prtft 

PI Q R"7*I 



68 748 

3 177 

1Q4 tQR 


1 091 170 

XQl PRA** 

A 437 

1QQQ 7't 

Sources: Annual Reports of the South Carolina State-wide 
WPA Library Project. 

^Includes 291,804 textbooks repaired for schools. 

Breakdowns of data for the year 1940-41 are for the pe- 
riod froa July, 1*40, throiigh lUroh, 1941, oaly. 


The only noteworthy aspect of WPA book repair activity 
in South Carolina is its increasing consolidation into fewer and 
larger units. Originally there "were local mending projects in 
every county. In March, 1941, these had been consolidated into 
25 units employing 174 workers. Ultimately it was Intended to 
consolidate the work into four strong, central units, one to 
serve each of the WPA administrative districts in the state. 

Statistics on WPA book repair In South Carolina from 
July, 1936, through June, 1941, appear in Table 19. During this 
period the average cost per volume has ranged from 30 to 40 cents. 

Workers 1 training. In-service training is an Important 
element in the entire WPA library assistance program. Most proj- 
ect employees have never been engaged In library work before re- 
ceiving relief employment, and many of them lack the accuracy, 
orderliness, self-assurance, and understanding required by such 
work when they are first assigned to a library project. Many 
project employees would be considered unemployable in a normal 
labor market. In the Interest of furthering project efficiency 
and improving morale among the workers, Informal but systematic 
training has been organized as an integral part of WPA library 
service prpjects. 

In South Carolina monthly training meetings for all proj- 
ect employees were begun as early as 1936. At that time instruc- 
tion was limited to a discussion of very simple library tools and 
routines and to the development of self-reliance and such habits 
as neatness and accuracy. Since 1938 the training program has 
been organized on a district basis, and three-day institutes have 
sometimes been held In place of one-day monthly meetings. 

In each district one supervisor Is In charge of training 
in book repair, another In library methods and publicity, another 
in reference tools, and another in extension or bookmobile serv- 
ice. Like other states South Carolina has developed training 
manuals to Implement Its instruction program. For instance, It 
has a 68-page manual on county-wide bookmobile service, a 95-page 
one on book-mending techniques, and others on publicity and gen- 
eral library procedures and tools, fhese manuals and courses in- 
troduce all project employees to such matters as book arrangement , 
filing, charging nethoas, and the uses of such tools as card cata- 
logs, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and yearbooks. Each worker 
also receives special instruction In the duties of his particular 


The object of WPA workers' training la not to develop 
them into librarians. Its purpose is solely to qualify them to 
perform efficiently and under supervision many of the clerical 
duties that are required in the operation of any library service 

As a corollary to its program of training for workers 
many projects also conduct district meetings and training Insti- 
tutes for their supervisory staffs. Such gatherings keep individ- 
ual supervisors posted on administrative changes affecting the 
project, provide an opportunity for staff members to discuss com- 
mon problems, and serve to improve morale throughout the project. 
The formal topics treated at such institutes in South Carolina 
have Included organization and administration, libraries and na- 
tional defense, the purpose and technique of supervision, project 
relations with established libraries, workers 1 training and dis- 
cipline, problems in evaluating project achievement, and the na- 
ture and significance of the "sponsor's contribution." 

Publicity. Planned and effective publicity is an essen- 
tial feature of any program with the objective of permanently im- 
proving library facilities by demonstration. Thus the final as- 
pect of the South Carolina library project to be treated in this 
chapter is its publicity, or "public relations." The following 
is a record of this project's use of publicity. 

In 1937, 1938, 1939, and 1940 the State Supervisor pre- 
pared and distributed mimeographed annual reports depicting the 
scope and progress of the project and containing testimonials of 
gratitude from important beneficiaries of WPA-operated library 
services. In the spring of 1940 the Anderson Daily Mail printed 
a special "Library and Education Edition" describing South Caro- 
lina's library facilities and needs and telling of county- wide 
services then operating with VPA assistance. In June, 1940, a 
large graphic exhibit and a moving picture were prepared and 
shown at the annual conference of the American Library Associa- 
tion, in Cincinnati. In the same year material for article! on 
Negro library service and rural libraries was supplied to authors 
for national magazines. From time to tine special reports on the 
project are prepared and sent to Washington for the information 
of the Library Service Section. The State Supervisor has appeared 
before various educational organizations and citizen's gatherings 


to explain the project's objectives and facilities whenever she 
has been called upon to do so. Locally the individual supervisors 
of county demonstrations are responsible for such public relations 
as are maintained. 

The noteworthy characteristic of most of this project's 
publicity is that it appears to have been directed at a national 
rather than a state or local audience. As a result librarians in 
other parts of the nation have been made aware of what South Caro- 
lina has done or is doing with WPA assistance. In terms of the 
objective of developing permanent tax-supported library service, 
however, it is unfortunate that more use was not made of regular, 
planned, and locally-directed publicity in individual county-wide 
demonstrations. Such publicity could focus attention on the ulti- 
mate goal of the project and might help materially in achieving it. 

This chapter has undertaken to show how the opportunity 
presented by the federal work relief program has been used to fur- 
ther the development of library service in a specific state. 
South Carolina was selected for study because, like the entire 
Southeast region, its geographic, economic, and social conditions 
are not conducive to the development of libraries along tradi- 
tional lines of organization and support. In 1935 South Carolina, 
a relatively poor and predominantly rural state with few libraries 
and no active state library agency, offered a fertile field for 
testing the soundness of multi-county or regional units for the 
government and administration of area-wide library service* This 
study is concerned with the extent to which the South Carolina 
WPA library project recognized and took advantage of this particu- 
lar opportunity. 

The record of the project by the middle of 1941 is impos- 
ing when quantitative comparisons are made with library facilities 
in the state before WPA. Thanks to federal assistance many sec- 
tions were receiving library service for the first time, new lo- 
cal libraries and reading rooms had been established, many more 
Negroes had access to "free books" than before. Large numbers 
of school and public library books had been repaired and restored 
to usefulness. Many school libraries had been cataloged for the 
first time. More than 30 bookmobiles had been obtained for use 


in demonstrations, and the suitability of this method of reaching 
rural readers in this state had been quite thoroughly tested. 
Co-operative, centralized facilities had been developed for the 
selection, processing, and repair of books. In short, as a di- 
rect result of WPA assistance the state-wide support and use of 
public and school library facilities for both races had increased 
by 1941 to a notable degree, compared with South Carolina's li- 
brary service In 1932* 

From the point of view of official state recognition of 
any responsibility for library development, however, the legis- 
lature was apparently still no more inclined to take action in 
1941 than it had been before the WPA, for in 1942 the State Li- 
brary Board was still without any appropriation from the state. 

In terms of the opportunity confronting the WPA in 1935, 
the record of the project is much less fortunate than might be 
desired* For a number of reasons the potentialities for the de- 
velopment of strong, area-wide systems of library service in 
this state have been only partially realized. 

WPA library assistance in South Carolina has been diffuse 
rather than concentrated, extensive Instead of intensive; and 
therefore its achievements, viewed objectively, reflect this lack 
of control, direction, or focus. Proportionately more individual 
communities in this state have received some benefit from the 
program than in many other states. Few communities, however, 
have received enough carefully directed benefits to provide a 
strong basis for a permanent, efficient, independent library 
service system* 

Many reasons could be advanced to explain why the program 
took the form that it did In this state. Urgency, expediency, 
the distribution of relief loads, local pressures, and even "pol- 
itics* might be praised or blamed for the manner In which the li- 
brary project evolved. In a word, most of the reasons are merely 
part of a broad situation in which WPA library assistance suddenly 
became available in a state not yet prepared to put it to the best 
possible use. Unlike states with a nucleus of strong libraries, 
South Carolina lacked both the experience in library development 
and the organised library leadership essential to sound library 
planning. Without either an active state agency or a clear plan 
for library development its WPA program naturally tended to become 
diffused, in its desire to benefit all sections of the state 


In fairness it should be noted that much good actually 
was accomplished by the project. Many sections of the state were 
formerly without books or libraries. With VPA assistance they 
received the benefits of both to a limited degree. 

In 1941 the WPA library project was undertaking to survey 
the state, evaluate its progress t and redirect its entire program 
as a result of its findings. Thus, by 1941 it had learned from 
experience the necessity of planning on the basis of existing 
facts. In 1935 South Carolina was sorely in need of advice and 
assistance in planning how it might best use its WPA library aid. 
Today its project leaders realize that the state's economic and 
geographic limitations make regional units the most efficient 
basis for library organization and support. However, after en- 
couraging the development of individual county libraries for five 
years their task of obtaining whole-hearted inter-county collabo- 
ration is not so easy as it might once have been. 

The experience of South Carolina demonstrates that a basic 
feature of any future nation-wide program of aid for libraries 
should be a provision for advice and assistance in planning for 
states in need of such professional guidance. Since 1938 the Li- 
brary Service Section has performed this function for the WPA. 
It is only unfortunate that such help was not available three 
years earlier, when it was most needed. 





This chapter constitutes the second case study of a state- 
wide WPA library service project. It deals with the Minnesota 
project from its inauguration in October, 1938 to its official 
termination May 1, 1942. 

Minnesota was selected for several reasons. Its geo- 
graphic, economic, and social setting including the development 
of public library service in the state is fairly representative 
of the Midwest, the region 1 which received more WPA library aid 
than any other section of the country* The rural library demon- 
stration program in this state was begun much later than in 
South Carolina, and consequently tends to reflect more closely 
the pattern of assistance developed by the WPA Library Service 
Section in Washington. Indeed, these two projects may be said to 
represent two separate stages in the evolution of WPA library as- 
sistance. Moreover, they serve to show how this program was 
adapted to strikingly different local conditions. 

Instead of treating the Minnesota situation as a completely 
independent study, this chapter frequently stresses the character- 
istics in which it differs from that of South Carolina. Since 
the immediate objectives of the two projects were basically dif- 
ferent no attempt is made t^o compare them directly. Their main 
points of difference are indicated, therefore! only to suggest 
how variously WPA library assistance, considered as an experiment 
in federal aid, has been administered in individual states. 

In general, this case study follows the pattern of treat- 
ment used in chapter vi. Thus, it begins with a description of 

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, 
Ohio, Wisconsin from H. W. Odum, Southern Regions of the United 
States (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1936), 



Minnesota's natural, social, and economic backgrounds, and the 
nature and extent of its library facilities. It then considers 
the objectives, organization, and outstanding characteristics of 
the VTPA state-wide library project. The third section traces the 
development of the project during the three and one-half years 
of its existence, and undertakes to interpret the results of the 
first six county library demonstrations. A fourth section calls 
attention to the major differences between WPA-assisted demonstra- 
tion service and that rendered in areas already receiving county 
library service from established libraries. The final section of 
the chapter presents a summary and conclusions. 

The Setting for WPA-Assisted Library 

As stated in chapter vi, the character and strength of 
the public services in any state are condition sd by the potential- 
ities of its geographic, economic, and human resources. This sec- 
tion, therefore, discusses these factors as they affect both the 
nature and the solution of the problem of library development in 


Geography. The state of Minnesota is situated at the 

Canadian border of the United States midway between the Great 
Lakes and the Great Plains. It is over 400 miles long from North 
to South, and averages 240 miles in width. It occupies almost 
85,000 square miles, or more than twice the area of South Caro- 
lina. The northeastern part of the state follows the shore of 
Lake Superior. Minnesota also has over 10,000 lakes of its own, 
which attract a large tourist trade each summer. Three great 
river systems originate in Minnesota, including the Mississippi, 
which forms its southeastern boundary. 

Minnesota is richly endowed with natural resources. Over 
two-thirds of its area (notably its southern and western sections) 
consists of rich agricultural land. The northeastern section of 
the state Is a natural forest area and also contains some of the 
richest iron ore deposits in the United States. The climate of 
Minnesota, though characterized by extreme sxunmer and winter tem- 

2 The data on which this section is baaed was obtained 
from Minnesota; A State Guide, complied and written by the Fed- 
eral Writers 1 Project of the Vorka Progress Administration (New 
York: The Viking Press, 1938). 

peratures, is generally favorable for farming. 

unlike South Carolina, with its single cash-crop economy, 
Minnesota has developed a stable and diversified agricultural 
program. For several decades following the Civil War it was the 
chief wheat-producing state, and, with its enormous milling in- 
dustry, was referred to as "the bread-basket of the nation." 
Since 1900, it has emphasized livestock, dairying, and meat-pack- 
ing; so its wheat production has declined, and feed crops (corn, 
oats, and alfalfa), and barley, rye, and soy beans have become 
leading sources of farm income. However, the milling industry of 
the Minneapolis-St. Paul area is still eclipsed only by that of 
Buffalo. Minnesota is also an important source of potatoes, sugar 
beets, and other vegetable crops. It is a leading state in the 
production of beef, pork, mutton, and poultry products, and is 
exceeded by no other state in the manufacture "of butter. It is 
progressive in its experiments with soil conservation and crop 
rotation. It is the home of the 4-H Club and G-ranger movements 
and has the largest number of co-operative undertakings (creamer- 
ies, grain elevators, rural electrification, and producing and 
marketing associations) in America. 

The major agricultural problems of the state are soil ero- 
sion, the utilization of uneconomic, cut-over forest land, and 
increasing farm tenancy since the depression and the drought of 
1934. Lumbering was Minnesota's major industry before 1900, as 
new railroads gave convenient access to the state's vast hardwood 
and coniferous forests. However, because of the prodigal exploi- 
tation of this resource, the best timber was rapidly destroyed. 
Therefore, today a wide area in the northern part of the state is 
a wilderness of barren cut-over land, which can be restored to 
usefulness only by the slow process of belated reforestation. 

Iron mining from the state's unusually rich and accessi- 
ble ore deposits has been a major source of income for Minnesota 
lace 1900.- As in the case of the forests, this resource was ex- 
ploited wastefully for many years following its discovery. To- 
day, however, it is mined more economically, and efforts are be- 
ing made to develop other more stable sources of livelihood to 
support the "range" country vhen the iron resources of the region 
finally become exhausted. Minnesota still supplies over 60 per 
cent of the iron mined In the United States. 

Quarrying of granite and limestone, manufacturing of farm 


machinery, refrigerators, and paper, fishing, and a growing sum- 
mer resort and vacation trade in the widely advertised "Arrow- 
head* 1 region are other locally important commercial enterprises. 

Figure 26, "Land use In "Minnesota, H shows roughly which 
sections of the state are important for agriculture, lumbering, 
mining, quarrying and manufacturing. 

In spite of the wasteful exploitation that has destroyed 
some of Minnesota's most valuable resources, the state as a whole 
still has the natural and physical essentials for a prosperous 
economy, primarily based on various forms of agriculture, mining, 
and the distribution of goods. 

The state's library situation Is directly related to its 
geography. In the southern and western sections the problem is 
one of integrating many small, independent local libraries Into 
stronger, more efficient units giving area-wide service. In the 
northern and northeastern sections the problem concerns the 
equalization of library opportunity between the geographically 
concentrated, relatively wealthy cities of the iron range and the 
rest of the region, which is sparsely populated and largely un- 
productive at present. 

Population, In 1940 Minnesota had 2,792,300 Inhabitants, 
or one and one-half times the population of South Carolina. How- 
ever, because of its greater area, Minnesota averages only 35 per- 
sons per square mile, in contrast to 62 for South Carolina. 
Minnesota 1 s population is almost equally divided between urban 
and rural residents, while that of South Carolina is more than' 
75 per cent rural. Minnesota has almost four times as many per- 
sons living in urban communities. This is because it has three 
metropolitan centers (Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth) with a 
total of 880,000 inhabitants, while no city In South Carolina is 
as large as 75,000. 

The two states also differ strikingly in the character of 
their respective populations. Over 99 per cent of Minnesota's 
Inhabitants are white, so, unlike South Carolina, where over 40 
per cent of the population are Negroes, it is not confronted with 
the necessity of supporting separate library facilities for Ke- 

Based on U.S. Bureau of the Census, Fifteenth Census of 
the United States: 1930: Sixteenth Census of the United States: 
1940; and Minnesota; A State Ouide. op. cit. 

Good land; used 
for agriculture 

cut-over forest); 

Forest land; used 
for lumbering and 
recreation areas 

Iron mines 
Stone quarries 

Comnercial and in- 
dustrial centers 

^^4^4^^ J^. 1 i 

Pig. 26. Land use in Minnesota 


groes. On the other hand, 99 per cent of South Carolina's white 
population is native-born, while over 10 per cent of Minnesota's 
population is of foreign birth, and a considerably larger propor- 
tion is of foreign parentage. In 1930 over 55 per cent of Minne- 
sota's inhabitants were either foreign-born or native-born of 
foreign or mixed parentage. Of this group 23 per cent, located 
largely in the central and southern part of the state, were of 
Serman origin; 19 per cent, in the central eastern and far north- 
ern counties, were of Swedish origin; and 18.8 per cent, in the 
west central and northwestern sections, were of Norwegian origin. 

The educational level of Minnesota 1 s population is con- 
siderably above that of South Carolina. In 1940, all but 7*5 per 
cent of Minnesota's inhabitants over twenty-four years of age had 
completed at least 5 years of grade school, while almost 35 per 
cent of this group in South Carolina had not had this much educa- 
tion. In the same year the median amount of formal education for 
the adult population in Minnesota was 8.5 years, as opposed to 
only 6.7 years in South Carolina. Under such conditions the prob- 
lem of developing suitable library service for adults is obviously 
more difficult in South Carolina. 

Economic ability. The contrast in the economic ability 
of the two states is equally- striking. Annual Income, as one eco- 
nomic index, will serve to characterize the difference. Minne- 
sota's gross income payments during 1940 totaled $1,473,000,000, 
or almost three times the amount reported for South Carolina, 
In that year, when the per capita Income for the nation was $573, 
Minnesota's was $526 and South Carolina's was only $281. It would 
appear, therefore, that with approximately the same degree of ef- 
fort Minnesota could apply twice as much financial support to the 
development of library service as South Carolina. 

The county as a unit for library service. It was pointed 
out in chapter vi that by employing modern methods of transporta- 
tion a single library system can serve an area of from 2,000 to 
5,000 square miles from a central headquarters. For the most ef- 
ficient service such an area should have a population of from 
40,000 to 50,000 persons. Its headquarters library should be 

U.S. Department of Commerce, Survey of Current Business * 
August, 1941. 

5 Helen Gordon Stewart, "Advantages and Difficulties IB 


located in the natural trading center for the region and should 
have a basic book collection of 20,000 volumes. Finally, it 

should receive from $15,000 to $25,000 annual support from the 

entire area. 

Chapter vl revealed that most of the counties of South 
Carolina are too small and too poor to constitute efficient units 
for independent area-wide library service. How well do Minne- 
sota^ counties meet the requirements of such a unit, in area, 
population, economic ability, and available library collections? 

As in the case of South Carolina, most of Minnesota's 87 
counties appear to be too small for the most efficient "adminis- 
tration of public services. (See Fig. 27.) Eight counties in 
Minnesota have areas of more than 2,000 square miles, but only 
two of these have as many as 50,000 inhabitants, since they are 
located in the sparsely populated cut-over region of the state. 
Almost one-fourth of the state's counties occupy less than 500 
square miles, while over three-fourths contain less than 1,000 
square miles* The majority of these small counties lie in the 
rich agricultural section of the state, where by combining into 
larger units they could all easily maintain strong area-wide li- 
brary service. 

According to Figure 27, which shows population by coun- 
ties, 61, or more than two-thirds of Minnesota's counties, have 
fewer than 25,000 inhabitants a fact which also suggests the 
need for larger units for the most efficient organization of rural 
library service. 

Thirty-two, or more than one-third of Minnesota's counties 
are completely rural (that is, they have no towns with 2,500 in- 
habitants). Most of these counties would probably receive better 
library service by contracting with their nearest trade center 
than by attempting to maintain independent county systems. Only 
11 counties are as much as 50 per cent urban, and only 14 have 
cities of 10,000 or sore inhabitants. 

tfc* Adainistration of a Regional Library Unit,* Bulletin of the 
American Library Association. XXVIII (September, 1934), 606. 

6 Ibid. 


Louis R. Wilson, The geography of Reading (Chioago: Uni- 
versity of Chiomgo Press, 1938), p. 83. 


(No. of Inhabitants) 
Fever than 10,000 
I I 10,000 to 24,999 
25,000 to 49,999 
50,000 to 99,999 
100,000 and over 

Fig. 27. Population of Minnesota in 
*Source: U. S. Bureau of the Census, Slxt 

. . 
(Washington: Government Printing 


nth Census of the United States; 


This study has cited $15,000 as a minimum requisite for 
the annual support of a county or regional library. According to 
Figure 28, which shows assessed county valuations in Minnesota, 
only 11 out of 87 counties could raise this amount for county li- 
brary service under the state's 1-mill permissive library tax 
limit. More than two-thirds of the counties could not even raise 
$10,000 under the present law. In terms of support also, there- 
fore, regional co-operation is indicated for the development of 
strong county library service in Minnesota. Figure 28 depicts 
remarkably well the geographical pattern of prosperity throughout 
the state. The northeast section, except for the iron range 
country, is characteristically poor, while the southern part of 
the state is consistently more prosperous. 

If 20,000 volumes is used as a minimum quantitative 
standard for a county library collection, only 12, or less than 
one-seventh, of the counties in the state could meet this require- 
ment with an existing local public library. 

In summary, it may be said of Minnesota as of South Caro- 
lina that in general its counties are too small to constitute ef- 
ficient units for the organization of area-wide library service. 
Moreover, few of the state's 87 counties have either the natural 
trade centers or the initial book stock required to provide opti- 
mum conditions for the operation of an independent county library. 
It is true that many more counties in Minnesota than in South 
Carolina could support nominal library service alone. However, 
in both states some regional co-operation will be necessary be- 
fore adequate service is universally available. 

Library service in Minnesota This section discusses es- 
tablished library facilities in Minnesota in 1939-1940. Since 
the published library statistics 8 do not include WPA-assisted 
service, the data for this year are used because they are more 
reliable and complete than for 1937 or 1938. In terms of library 
coverage and needs, therefore, they represent the conditions ex- 
isting when the WPA state-wide project was organized late in 1938. 

At that time there were 145 public libraries in the state, 
compared with 30 in South Carolina before the WPA, and 49 libra- 
ries maintained by subscription or association funds. Figure 29 

^nnesota Libraries, XIII (March, 1941), "Public Library 

(thousands of dollars) 
I I Less than 5,000 
5,000 to 9,999 
10,000 to 
15,000 and over 

Pig. 28. Assessed valuation in Minnesota in 19?8,- by counties* 

*Source: Minnesota Tax Commission, Sixteenth Biennial Report (Saint Paul, 
Minnesota, 1938). 

,-L L_.J 

County library service 

'-- 1 

Counties vith no li- 
braries receiving as 
much as $1,000 support 


Libraries vlth Incomes 
of $10,000 or more III 

Libraries with incomes 
from $1,000 to $9,999 


Pig. 29. Public library service in Minnesota, 1939-40* 
*Source: Minnesota Libraries * XIII (March, 19^1), 135-143. 


shows the location of the 87 public libraries with at least $1,000 
annual support, and designates the 13 counties receiving some form 
of "county service" from established local libraries. It also 
locates the 13 libraries with incomes exceeding $10,000 a year. 
According to this map, over one- third of the 87 counties had no 
public libraries with as much as $1,000 annual support, while 
only 8 had libraries with incomes as high as $10,000. 

Characteristically, public library service in Minnesota 
is a local community function. Thus, except in the larger cities, 
Minnesota's public libraries tend to be too small, inadequately 
supported, and poorly staffed to render a high standard of serv- 
ice. For example, only 34, or fewer than one-fourth of the 
state's 145 tax-supported public libraries, have annual incomes 
of $4,000, the minimum amount generally considered necessary to 
maintain an independent library regardless of the size of the com- 


munlty to be served. Similarly, less than one -fourth of these 
145 public libraries have book collections of 10,000 volumes or 
more. In short, as in the case of the county as a unit of rural 
government, Minnesota 1 s public libraries are too numerous and too 
small to be fully effective. Furthermore, their distribution 
throughout the state leaves many sections with no service what- 
ever, while others have library facilities in abundance. 

In 1939-40 the state as a whole spent approximately 
$1,350,000 in support of public libraries, in contrast to less 
than $170,000 spent in South Carolina in 1932. Its per capita 
library support that year was $.48, as opposed to $.10 in South 
Carolina. Its book collections totaled more than 2,800,000 vol- 
umes, against less than 300,000 in South Carolina. And its cir- 
culation of public library books was over 11,500,000 volumes, 
while South Carolina's was barely 1,000,000. 

More than 40 per -cent of the Inhabitants of Minnesota were 
without any local publicly supported library service whatever in 
1940. Almost all of the state's urban communities had some de- 
gree of service, but 83 per cent of its rural population still 
had only such service as it could obtain by mail from the state 
library agency. Twelve counties, with a total population of 
nearly 150,000, had no legally established public libraries within 

9 Ethel M, Fair, "A Unit for Library Service," Wisconsin 
Library Bulletin. XXI (1925), 172-74. 


their borders. Only 2 of the 13 counties with "county library 
service" were receiving as much as $5,000 from the county, and 
only 4 were rendering effective extension service. The public 
library situation in Minnesota, therefore, while apparently much 
better than that in South Carolina, presents a problem in the re- 
organization and extension of facilities and support quite as 
difficult of solution as that in South Carolina, if equal, ade- 
quate library service is ever to be achieved throughout the en- 
tire state. 

School and college libraries are not an immediate concern 
of this chapter, since the Minnesota state-wide WPA project in- 
cluded only public library service in its demonstration program. 
It should be noted, however, In discussing library facilities in 
Minnesota, that school library development is stimulated by state 
aid, by the compulsory certification of teacher-librarians, and 
by constant direct advice, service, and assistance from the school 
section of the Library Division. The state has 6 Junior college 
libraries, 6 teachers college libraries, 13 college libraries, and 
one of the largest university library collections in the United 

The state library agency. Unlike South Carolina, Minne- 
sota has a state library agency, the Library Division of the 
State Department of Education, which renders extensive service to 
libraries and to the development of library service throughout 
the state* Its functions, as stated by law, are: 

1. To aid established libraries through advisory service, 
field visits, and correspondence. 

2. To assist and encourage the formation of libraries where 
none exist. 

3. To maintain and circulate traveling libraries for the bene- 
fit of libraries and rural residents of the state. 

4. To exercise general supervision over school libraries, the 
maintenance of standards of service, certification of 
school librarians, and the administration of school laws 
and regulations.^ 

This agency, with a budget of from $26,000 to $28,000, 
has a staff of 9 persons (5 professional, 4 clerical) and a book 
collection of approximately 40,000 volumes. In 1939-40 it loaned 

Minnesota Department of Education, Library Division, 
Annual Report: 1938-39, * 12 pp (Typewritten.) 


a total of 82,000 volumes (28,000 as individual loans and 54,000 
in package or traveling libraries). 

In addition to the extensive advisory assistance which 
this agency renders to individual libraries by field visits and 
correspondence, it publishes and distributes free of charge a 
quarterly bulletin, Minnesota Libraries, which contains articles 
on current library practice, news of Minnesota libraries, annual 
statistics on library service in Minnesota, and selected notes 
on new publications of interest to librarians. 

From the point of view of this study, one of the most im- 
portant functions of the Library Division in Minnesota Is its ac- 
tivity in the field of state-wide library planning. Prior to the 
establishment of the Minnesota state-wide WPA library project, the 
Library Division had surveyed the conditions of library service 

and support in every county in the state and had formulated a long- 

range plan for library development. This plan and the survey 

upon which it was based made it possible for the state-wide project 
to begin effective operation with little loss of time as soon as 
its establishment was authorized. From the point of view of pro- 
ject administration, therefore, Minnesota was fortunate in having 
a state agency which could provide leadership, direction, and a 
plan for the effective use of WPA assistance when it became avail- 

The State-wide WPA Library Project*. 
Its Organization and Administration 

From 1935 to 1938 the WPA had rendered assistance to pub- 
lic libraries in Minnesota by establishing individual, locally- 
sponsored projects for the expansion of existing services and the 
repair of library books and magazines. Late in 1938, however, a 
state-wide library project was organized to supersede these numer- 
ous local projects, in accord with the new policy of WPA library 
assistance formulated by the Library Service Section In Washing- 

11 This bulletin is acknowledged to be one of the best is- 
sued by any state library agency. 


^Library Objectives for Minnesota, 11 Minnesota State De- 
partment of Education, Library Rotes and News. XI (October- 
Deoember, 1935), 130. 


Objectives and organization. The stated objectives of 
the Minnesota state-wide library project were: "to expand exist- 
ing library services, to bring books to areas without them, and 
to show the economy and practicability of library service organ- 
ized on county and regional lines by operating area-wide library 
demonstrations in selected groups of unserved counties." These 
objectives naturally divided the activities of the project into 
two phases; (1) assistance to existing libraries, and (2) exten- 
sion of library service to new areas. The former activity in- 
volved merely the provision of clerical workers so that estab- 
lished libraries could expand their normal services. It is the 
latter, or library demonstration phase of the project, with which 
this study is primarily concerned. 

The administrative organization of the Minnesota state- 
wide project followed the general pattern described in chapter v 
and illustrated by the South Carolina project in chapter vi. It 
differed from the latter, however, in three important respects. 
Since the Library Division, as the official state library agency, 
was able to assume responsibility for planning and directing the 
demonstration program, it became the official sponsor of the 
project and, within the limitations affecting all WPA activities, 
largely determined the policies governing its operation. In the 
second place, because of local circumstances in the WPA state of- 
fice, the responsibility for the project was divided on a func- 
tional basis. The State Supervisor, was administratively responsi- 
ble for the entire project, and was in immediate charge of as- 
sistance to established libraries, book repair, and all project 
records and reports. The Assistant State Supervisor, on the 
other hand, was technically responsible for the conduct of the 
extension or demonstration aspect of the program. Finally, since 
project assistance in Minnesota was intensive rather than exten- 
sive, it concentrated its demonstrations largely in one WPA dis- 
trict; therefore it was not necessary to maintain a large corps 
of supervisors throughout the state, as in the case of South 

The IPA personnel of the, Minnesota state-wide library 
project inclmded the State Supervisor, the Assistant State Super- 
Minnesota Department of Education, Library Division, 
Minnesota Library Koteg and News. XII (December, 1938), 239. 


visor, a supervisor in charge of public relations, one in charge 
of book preparation (classification and cataloging), five field 
supervisors in charge of specific county-wide library service 
demonstrations, and the scores of relief workers needed to process t 
mend, and distribute books, and to staff individual lending sta- 
tions. The Director of the Library Division (the state library 
agency) also served as technical adviser to the project, and its 
Librarian served as book selector for the entire demonstration 
program . 

In addition to this personal assistance, the Library Divi- 
sion furnished office space, shipping materials, transportation 
costs and the use of its bibliographic tools. It also contributed 
approximately 9,000 volumes from its traveling library collection 
and purchased hundreds of new books with its own funds for use in 
county demonstrations. Local libraries serving as centers for 
county library demonstrations provided space, heat, light, and 
some books for the project; and citizens 1 organizations furnished 
quarters, shelving, and such contributions of cash and books as 
they could raise to supplement the resources available for indi- 
vidual county demonstrations. Finally, the WPA furnished work- 
ers, supervisors, and limited funds for new books. 

Noteworthy characteristics of the Minnesota project. 
Several characteristics of this state-wide library project are 
worthy of special mention. The outstanding feature of the entire 
project was its use of publicity. Within each demonstration 
county project supervisors appeared before chambers of commerce, 
service clubs, and other interested groups to explain the objec- 
tives of the program and to obtain support for the library tax 
levy. They helped various organizations plan amateur theatricals, 
panoake suppers, auctions, moving picture programs, luncheons, 
and ioe cream socials for the benefit of the county library move- 
ment. Some of them prepared exhibits for county fairs and devel- 
oped rotating collections of posters for use at individual lend- 
ing stations. 

The unusual feature of Minnesota's public relations pro- 
gram, however, was its arrangement for the centralized prepara- 

Tleports on this aspect of the project appear In Minne- 
sota Libraries. XII (December, 1939), 395-97, and XIII (December, 
1941), 245-46. 


tion and distribution of project news and information. Because 
the sponsor of the project realized that an intensive and well 
directed educational campaign was essential to the fulfillment 
of the demonstration program's objectives, planned publicity was 
an important factor in project operation from the beginning. A 
publicity expert, with training and experience in newspaper work 
rather than in librarianship, was engaged to handle this promo- 
tional aspect of the program at the headquarters office. When 
the project got under way this staff member, who had an unusually 
sensitive "nose for news," supplied weekly localized releases to 
every newspaper In demonstration counties, wrote special articles 
on the project for farm and association Journals, and prepared 
numerous leaflets in quantities for local distribution, graphically 
depicting library conditions In individual counties, and explain- 
ing clearly and simply the benefits, cost, and method of establish- 
ing permanent county-wide library service. By May, 1941 more than 
500 news releases had been devoted to project publicity In demon- 
stration counties, and many special articles had been sent to the 
500 daily and weekly papers in the state. 

Eight different series of weekly radio scripts ranging 
from Interviews with local civic leaders to spot announcements 
and drama tic sketches and numerous sample talks for the use of 
lay supporters of the county library movement were prepared by 
the project's publicity supervisor. An attractive and colorful 
poster was designed to mark the location of individual deposit 
collections and was displayed prominently at every lending sta- 
tion. (See Figs. 36, 38, and 39.) Finally, an informal mimeo- 
graphed bulletin, tt The Library Demonstrator/ containing up-to- 
the-minute news of demonstration progress in Individual counties, 
was Issued monthly at the sponsor's expense to members of citi- 
zen's library associations and selected individuals interested 
In state-wide library development* No other project has made 
such effective use of centralized publicity, according to the Di- 
rector of the WPA Library Service Section. 

Other characteristics of the Minnesota project worthy of 
special mention are its policy of concentrating WPA demonstration 
assistance in a few counties, its preference for branch and sta- 
tion service to bookmobile service, its centralized selection and 
processing of project books, and Its special request service. 

The plan of concentrating WPA demonstration assistance 


in a few counties was adopted because the Library Division be- 
lieved that library development In Minnesota would be furthered 
more by the operation of a limited number of strong, well-super- 
vised, successful demonstrations than by dispersing the available 
aid thinly throughout the entire state. By beginning with the 
most favorable unserved areas, It hoped to obtain results quickly 
and then to undertake demonstrations in less-favored sections, 
where the experience gained in the first group of counties would 
facilitate the achievement of the program's objectives. 

In contrast to South Carolina, Minnesota used no bookmo- 
biles In its WPA-assisted library service demonstrations. The 
sponsor believed that since the counties were small and well cov- 
ered with small villages and towns, better service would be ren- 
dered by concentrating project funds on the provision of good 
book collections in convenient, daily accessible branches and 
stations, than by Investing in expensive mobile equipment which 
would make books available to individual borrowers only on bi- 
weekly visits. This project, therefore, restricted Its service 
to the maintenance of carefully selected rotating deposits of from 
50 to 300 volumes in the principal communities in each county, 
using as library lending depots such diverse centers of congrega- 
tion as general stores, town halls, post offices, book shops, 
drug stores, and filling stations. 

Actually, of course, bookmobiles and deposit stations are 
by no means mutually exclusive. It Is quite possible that this 
project might have done well to experiment with the use of at 
least one such mobile unit In conjunction with Its lending sta- 
tions In two or three adjoining counties. This arrangement would 
have given the project the publicity value which such a unit con- 
tributes. It would have won Increased support for permanent 
service among rural readers living In areas not located near any 
branch or station. And, finally, It might have served to further 
the objective of Inter-county or regional co-operation in perma- 
nent library organization. 

Centralized selection and processing of demonstration 
book collections was an important administrative feature of Minne- 
sota's state-wide library project. This arrangement, as described 
by the Librarian of the Library Division, is by no means unique 

15 Eleanor Davis, "Selecting Books for WA Library Demon- 
strations," Minnesota Libraries > XII (December, 1939), 393-94. 


in Minnesota but was so well organized and administered in this 
state that it deserves special mention. Unusual care was exer- 
cised in selecting materials adapted to the reading abilities and 
interests of this project's particular clientele, whose reading 
had previously been restricted largely to newspapers and farm 
journals. The distribution of books to individual counties and 
the catalog records for locating individual titles were also well 
organized, with the result that special requests could be filled 
promptly if the materials were available in any of the' project's 

Finally, special request service, also an important fea- 
ture of good decentralized library systems, was emphasized by the 
Minnesota demonstration program. Request forms were available at 
each lending station, and, when filled out, were forwarded to the 
project headquarters by the local supervisor if the material 
could not be supplied from within the county. Titles not held by 
the project itself were obtained from the library of the state 
agency, or, in the case of important items, were supplied through 
interlibrary loan from libraries in Minneapolis or St. Paul. Dur- 
ing 1940 alone almost 600 individual requests were handled for the 
6 counties in which library demonstrations were operating. Except 
for numerous duplicate requests for current best-sellers, such as 
Srapea of Wrath, Kitty .Foyle, 6one with the Wind, and For Whom 
the Bell Tolls , most of these requests represented a serious de- 
sir* to read definite titles or to study specific subjects. Among 
the books thus requested were With Lawrence in Arabia, Old Peruvian 
Art, Me in Kampf . Fresh Water Biology. Journal iatio Vocation's. Vic- 
tor Boole of the Symphony. Heturn to Religion > Modern Radio Servic- 
ing, Strategy in Handling People, Marriage and the Family, Inte- 
rior Decorating, Inside Asia, and Homecraft Rugs. 

The Development. Scope, and Achievement of the 
State- vide Library Project 

This section discusses the development of the Minnesota 
WPA library project up to May 1, 194E, when its activities were 
redirected to become a part of the WPA's War Information Service 

Chronology of the county library demonstration program. 
The Xlnnesota state-vide library project was formally begun in 
October, 1938. In accord with the sponsor's policy of ooncentrat- 


Ing project assistance in a few selected areas at a time, the 
following several months were spent in inaugurating rural library 
demonstrations in a group of 6 adjoining counties in the southern 
part of the state. These counties (see Pig. 30) were: Blue 
Earth, Waseca, Rice., G-oodhue, Freeborn, and Mower. Since a num- 
ber of weeks were required to assemble, catalog, and distribute 
books for demonstration .use, to organize co-sponsoring groups for 
participation in each county, to arrange quarters for branches 
and deposits, and to assign local station attendants, the service 
did not actually begin until January, 1939. 

During the spring of 1939 the service in individual coun- 
ties expanded rapidly, so that by July over 16,000 volumes had 
been loaned to over 3,000 registered borrowers at 41 different 
lending stations. At that time 384 relief workers were employed 
on the state-wide project, including auxiliary workers in estab- 
lished libraries and those assigned to book repair units through- 
out the state. Project book collections then totaled over 18,000 
volumes, including 6,866 purchased with WPA funds and almost 
11,000 supplied by the sponsor. The entire circulation from 
these 6 demonstrations at the end of their first year was approx- 
imately 86,000 volumes, or an average of 11,000 a month. 

By the beginning of 1940 the number of lending stations 
for the entire project had Increased to 80, and in April the pro- 
gram was employing more than 700 persons. On the first of June 
the circulation of books in the 6 initial demonstrations during 
the previous 12 months totaled 107,696 volumes. By the end of 
the year these demonstrations had registered over 13,500 borrow- 
ers, and had circulated & total of over 200,000 volumes. 

December, 1940, marked the end of the first phase of the 
library demonstration program in Minnesota. At that time the 
project had been in operation almost 2 years; and 3 of the first 
6 demonstrations, having served their purpose, were brought to a 
conclusion (see Fig. 31). Accordingly, as fast as the facilities 
In these counties were withdrawn, they were redistributed to 
bring their benefits to an entirely new group of unserved areas. 
By the beginning of 1941, when the second phase of the program 
got under way, 6 new demonstrations were started in as many dif- 
ferent counties. 16 (See Figs. 30 and 31.) In May of that rear, 

16 Stearn, Lyon, Martin, Nobles, Redwood, and Vatonwan. 

1st group of WPA 
county library 

2nd group of WPA 
county library 

Previously estab- 
lished county 
library service 


Pig. 30. County library service in Minnesota, 1939-1941, 
including WPA demonstrations and previously established service. 

'38 1939 19^0 19*1 '42 


/Voted (E) 


Too little interest 
^^^^^^/to warrant a vote 




fated (E) 



)efeated (E) 

iVoted (C) 


38 1939 19^0 ig4l '42 

= Period of operation 
/ = Date at which the County Library 
issue was raised for settlement 
(E) = Issue settled by public election 
(C) = Settled by County Commissioners 

Fig. 31. Chronology of WPA-aasisted, county 
library demonstrations in Minnesota, 1938-19^2. 


when another of the original demonstrations was discontinued, an 
additional one was begun in Lincoln county, making a total of 13 
counties to "benefit from the program up to that time. During 1941 
demonstrations were being operated in 9 counties, including 2, 
Mower and Waseca, of the original group of 6. (See Fig. 31.) 

By May, 1942, the results of the demonstration program, 
briefly summarized, were as follows; Three of the first 7 coun- 
ties to receive this project assistance had authorized tax sup- 
port for permanent county library service. One had defeated the 
measure by a narrow margin. Two had tentatively defeated the is- 
sue when sentiment was tested by a straw vote at township elec- 
tions. When the program was superseded by the state-wide War In- 
formation Service project none of the last 6 demonstrations had 
been in operation as long as a year and a half ; therefore, the 
issue of permanent tax support had not yet been raised for formal 
settlement . 

At the end of its third year (December, 1941) the Minne- 
sota state-vide project was able to report the following achieve- 
ments of its "assistance to established libraries" phase: 

1. Assistance (of various kinds) had been rendered to 140 
public libraries and 101 public school libraries through- 
out the state. 

2. Two established county libraries had used WPA attendants 
in 11 lending stations. 

3. Fifty-five small public and school libraries had been kept 
open by WPA workers. 

4. Over 1,000,000 books had been renovated for public and 
school libraries. 

5. Assistance had been given In cataloging over 150,000 pub- 
lic and school library books. 17 

Conditions and results in the first six demonstrations. 
This section considers the experience of Minnesota 1 s library dem- 
onstration program in the first group of counties to receive its 
benefits. First the counties are characterized as a group, then 
individually. The 6 thus treated are: Blue Earth, Rice, Mower, 
Waseoa, Freeborn, and Goodhue. 

All 6 counties are located in the prosperous farming re- 


Froa a report in Minnesota Libraries. XIII (December, 

1941), 243, and earlier typewritten project reports. 


gion in the southern part of the state. (See Fig* 30.) They 
range in size from 415 to 758 square miles. With the exception 
of Waseca, which has only 15,000 inhabitants, they have popula- 
tions of from 31,500 to over 36,000. Their density of population 
ranges from 36.6 to 65 persons per square mile, and their popu- 
lations are from 28 to nearly 60 per cent urban. All except 
Waseca have a city of 10,000 or more inhabitants and assessed tax 
valuations of over $12,500,000. Four of the 6 counties had a lo- 
cal public library with more than 17,000 volumes and total public 
library collections of over 25,000 volumes when the project be- 
gan. In 3 of them over 50 per cent of the Inhabitants were al- 
ready served by these local public libraries. All except Waseca 
had at least one bookstore within their borders. On the whole, 
therefore except for their relatively small size 5 out of these 
6 counties may be considered as sound units for the development 
of county libraries. 

The locations of the WPA demonstration headquarters, ex- 
isting local libraries, and lending branches and stations in each 
county are shown in Figure 32. These agencies include 14 public 
libraries and 78 demonstration outlets. The trend of book circu- 
lation for each demonstration during 1939 and 1940 is indicated 
in Figure 33. It should be noted that these graphs do not in- 
clude circulation figures for established local libraries and 
therefore represent only the number of volumes circulated from 
demonstration lending stations and not the total use of library 
books in these counties. 

The first of the demonstrations to begin operation was 
the one in Blue Earth County (see Fig. 32). This county has over 
36,000 inhabitants, of whom 15,000 live in Mankato, the county 
seat, which has a public library of almost 30,000 volumes. When 
the first station was opened in January, 1939, there were also 
two other small public libraries in the county. Nevertheless, 
half of the total population was still without library service 
at the time. From the beginning the demonstration had the full 
co-operation of the Mankato Public Library, which served as head- 
quarters for the undertaking. In quick succession 10 stations 
were established, book collections totaling 2,350 volumes were 
deposited in various parts of the county, and a regular monthly 
circulation of from 2,000 to 2,600 volumes a month was soon de- 
veloped. (See Fig. 33.) These stations were located in general 







03 C 
H 03 

I O^ 

2 H 

hundreds of volumes 



JFM 1939 ONDJPM 19^0 OND 
Blue Earth, County 

JTM 1939 ONDJFM 1940 OND 
Rice County 

hundreds of volumes 

JFM 1939 ONDJFM 1940 OND 
Mover County 

hundreds of volumes 



hundreds of volumes 



JFM 1939 OUDJPM 1940 OND 
Vaseca County 

JPM 1939 ONDJFM 1940 OKD 
Preebom County 

JTM 1939 ONDJFM 1940 OND 
Goodhue County 

Fig- 33. Circulation trends in VPA-assisted county library 
demonstrations in Minnesota during 1939 and 1940. 


stores (see Fig* 34), a post office, a bus depot, a filling sta- 
tion, and a school building. 

Fig. 34. Selecting books from a general 
store deposit station in Minnesota. 

After the demonstration had been in operation only six 
months a County Library Committee, consisting of interested cit- 
izens representing eight different communities and various civic 
organizations, study clubs, and farm bureau groups, approached 
the County Commissioners to asfc that a county library be estab- 
lished. It was then agreed to put the question to the citizens 
at a regular election. After a program of publicity, in which 
the local newspapers, the radio, and an exhibit at the county 
fair played a part, the issue was presented at the November, 1940, 
election; and a vote of 6,915 to 5,206 was cast in favor of levy- 
ing a 1-mill tax for permanent service by contract from the Man- 
fcato Public Library. The funds thus raised amount to almost 
$14,000 a year. 

In Rice County, where the second demonstration opened, 
the outcome was quite different. In Blue Earth County, a large 
proportion of the population were rural residents, who would ben- 
efit from county library service. In Rice County, on the other 


hand, almost 60 per cent of the population reside in the cities 
of Faribault and Northfield, which have long had public libraries 
of their own. (See Fig. 32.) In this situation, therefore, al- 
though individual groups of readers in small communities through- 
out the county earnestly desired library service, their vote alone 
could scarcely bring about its establishment. With a single ex- 
ception (see Fig. 33), the ^demonstration never circulated more 
than 1,250 books a month. Accordingly, in November, 1940, after 
more than 20 months of assistance, it was decided to withdraw the 
demonstration when it became evident that its chance for success 
at a county-wide election was exceedingly slight. 

Mower County was the third to inaugurate a county library 
demonstration. Here, as in Rice county, more than half of the 
population was urban. Austin, the county seat, a city of 18,000, 
has its own library; and there are two public libraries at the 
opposite end of the county (see Fig. 32). Unfortunately, the 
Austin Public Library did not wish to participate In the demon- 
stration; so headquarters were established at Rose Creek, a small 
village nearer the center of the county. A citizen's county li- 
brary association worked actively in behalf of permanent service. 
The Austin Herald, the county's most influential newspaper, the 
Austin Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the local radio station 
all gave their support. The WPA established 13 lending stations 
with a total of almost 2,300 volumes in various outlying communi- 
ties (see the barber shop station at Sargeant, Fig. 35). Never- 
theless, without the co-operation of the public library and the 
Board of County Commissioners, the undertaking was defeated when 
it was presented for a straw vote at the March, 1941, township 
election. Owing to the enthusiasm and determination of the county 
library association to carry on their efforts to obtain permanent 
tax support, it was decided to continue the demonstration for 
another trial period. It was still in operation, therefore, when 
the project was terminated in May, 1942. 

Vaseca, the fourth county to have a county library demon- 
stration, deserves special mention. It is the smallest and poor- 
est of all six counties, and ordinarily would not have been ae- 
leoted as one of the first demonstration counties. Its total pop- 
ulation is only 15,000, Its county seat, the city of Waseca, has 
only 4,270 Inhabitants. The remaining 72 per cent of Its popula- 
tion is entirely rural. The only public library was a small 


Fig. 35. Books in a barber 
shop in Sargeant (Mower County) , 

collection in Janesville, a village of 1,300 located near the 
western border of the county* Thus, both the city of Waseca and 
the rest of the county stood to gain from a permanent county li- 
brary. In March, 1939, in response to an organized request for 
assistance, a demonstration was started, with headquarters in 
Vaseca. A book collection of 2,600 volumes was distributed among 
6 lending stations located in various stores and public buildings 
(see Fig* 36) throughout the county. A citizen's library asso- 
ciation and numerous local organizations conducted an intensive 
campaign for permanent county service. The use of demonstration 
books was consistently greater here than in any of the 5 other 
counties (see Pig. 33), because of a large circulation in the 
city of Waaeca. 


Fig. 36. A town hall library lending station 

Since county service In Minnesota must be obtained by 
contract with an existing local library, if there is one in the 
county, a public library was established in the city of Waseca 
by a 2 to 1 vote in April, 1940, at the end of the demonstra- 
tion's first year of operation. Seven months later, at the reg- 
ular fall election, the entire county voted to contract with this 
library for permanent service. Again the vote was almost 2 to 1 
in favor of the issue. In order to prevent interruption of the 
service, it was decided to continue WPA assistance until the 
first tax funds became available. ' 

Of the first six areas to inaugurate rural library demon- 
strations, Freeborn County would seem to present an unusually 
favorable situation for a county library program. It occupies a 
rectangular area 24 by 30 miles, and has a total population of 
31,780. Albert Lea, the county seat, is a city of over 12,000 
inhabitants, and lies near the center of the county. From this 
focal point good roads radiate to more than 20 towns and villages. 
The county is almost 62 per cent rural; and since its only library 
is one of 8,000 volumes, which serves the city of Albert Lea, it 
had almost 20,000 persons (or more than any of the other 5 coun- 


ties) without library service in May, 1939, when the demonstra- 
tion was begun. A headquarters was established at the Albert Lea 
Public Library, and 21 lending stations, with a total of 4,589 
volumes, were established in outlying communities. (See Fig. 32.) 
Thus this county had more station outlets and many more books than 
any other demonstration county. Local deposits were housed in 
stores (see Pig. 37), barber shops, schools, homes, a cafe (see 
Fig. 38), and an unused Jail. 

The use of the demonstration service in this oounty In- 
creased rapidly during its first nine months of operation. (See 
Pig. 33.) Unfortunately, a county library association was not 
formally organized until the service had been operating nine 
months. In July, 1940, this group petitioned the County Commis- 
sioners to establish county service by contract, but its request 
was refused. At that time the leading newspaper in the county 
came out strongly against the proposal, and the use of the serv- 
ice declined sharply. When the issue came to a vote, in Novem- 
ber, 1940, sufficient opposition had been marshalled to defeat it 
6,971 to 5,647. This vote was unusually heavy, and hence was 
taken to represent the will of the entire county; so the demon- 
stration, having served its purpose, was immediately discontinued. 

Goodhuer was the last of the first 'group of counties to 
start a rural library demonstration. It is The largest of the 
six, and almost 70 per cent of its population is rural. However, 
it already had 4 public libraries within its borders; therefore, 
nominally only 45 per cent of Its inhabitants were completely 
without some degree of local library service. Its greatest draw- 
back as a library unit is the fact that the county seat, Red Wing, 
is located in a remote corner of the county area (see Fig. 32), 
thus rendering the close supervision and servicing of the entire 
county somewhat difficult. In this county 20 lending stations 
were established, in general stores, an electric shop, a Jewel- 
er's (see Fig. 39), a cheese factory, and a municipal pump house 
(see Fig. 40). The use of the service increased from approxi- 
mately 1,200 volumes in its second month to almost 3,000 a month 
one year later. At that time the book stock totaled 2,800 vol- 

In March, 1941, this oounty tested public sentiment on 
the question of a permanent library tax by taking a straw vote at 
a township election. However, because the Issue was not up for 


Fig- 37. A library deposit at the Lars Kvale 
store in Myrtle (Freeborn County) . 

Fig, 38. 
side care. 

demonstration deposit in a road- 

Fig. 39. Orange-crate shelving in a Jeweler ! s shop 

' Fig. 40. A lending station in a recondi- 
tioned village pump house* 


official settlement, many supporters of the library movement 
failed to go to the polls, and the total vote was very light 
(only 1,062 out of over 16,000 eligible voters). When it was 
discovered that less than 200 ballots had been cast in favor of 
establishing county library service, it was decided to withdraw 
the project's facilities for use in the second group of counties, 
which were just starting their demonstrations at that time. 

Demonstration Service Compared with Established 
County Library Service 

When Minnesota's state-wide WPA library project was or- 
ganized, 13 of the state's 87 counties had library service by 
contract from established public libraries (see Fig. 30). This 
study now considers the differences between the type of service 
developed by the demonstration program and that of these previ- 
ously established "county library" systems. 

The character of the service provided In all of the dem- 
onstration counties is essentially uniform. The 13 established 
county systems, on the other hand, vary so greatly that no sin- 
gle pattern can be used to describe them as a group. For this 
reason, and because statistics of the county demonstrations and 
of county contract service are not directly comparable, no gen- 
eralized comparisons, based on expenditures or circulation fig- 
ures, are attempted. Instead, the basic characteristics of WPA- 
asslsted service are contrasted with those of various county con- 
tract systems, and a comparative analysis of a demonstration book 
collection and that of an established county system Is presented. 

The pattern of service followed in each of the WPA-as- 
slsted demonstrations emphasizes direct, county-wide public li- 
brary service from a central library, through a system of rotat- 
ing deposit collections located conveniently in rural centers of 
population and trade. It Is characterized by centralized selec- 
tion, processing, and distribution of book collections, profes- 
sional supervision, and a "special request 11 service, intended to 
make the entire resources of the project available to the indi- 
vidual reader, wherever he may be. This type of service was pro- 
vided in 13 different counties in Minnesota through a total of 
144 individual lending stations, from 1939 to 1942. 

Established county library service, as It existed in 
Minnesota before the WPA, ranged from fairly complete service to 

almost no service at all, depending upon local conditions. Only 

4 of the 13 counties with contract service were rendering really 

effective service to their rural residents. Two of these were 

the small, adjoining metropolitan counties containing Minneapolis 
and St. Paul. A third was the county Including Duluth and the 
wealthy cities of the Mesabi iron range. Although only 2 of the 
13 contracting libraries were receiving as much as $5,000 for 
county service, 9 of them were attempting to provide school as 
well as public library service. Only 4, including the 3 atypical 
metropolitan counties, had separate county book collections of 
over 5,000 volumes. Nine of the 13 were serving more than 150 
lending stations and 483 schools. The remaining 4 counties were 
receiving no extension service whatever. Their residents were 
permitted to use the contracting library, but had to travel to 
the county seat to do so. Suoh extension service as was rendered 
appears to have centered In rural schools, in most of the 13 
counties. Therefore, of all the counties credited with having 
"county libraries 11 before the WPA, only 2 or 3 did in fact have 
actual, area-wide public library service of the type provided by 
the demonstration program. 

, Two book collections analyzed. A qualitative evaluation 
of one aspect of the service rendered by a library can be under- 
taken by making various analyses of its book collection. Since 
the complete lists of holdings of a typical county demonstration 
and the county collection of a comparable contracting public li- 
brary were made available to this study, they are analyzed to- 
gether to show how they differ when tested by the same set of 

In March, 1941, this WPA-assisted county, referred to 
hereafter as "the Demonstration county," had a book collection of 
barely 3,000 volumes, which it aade available to rural residents 
through 16 lending stations throughout the county. At that time 
the county with established contract service, referred to as "the 
Contract county," had a separate county book collection of almost 
6,000 volumes, vhioh it distributed throiagh 18 county library de- 
posit stations * 

Table 20 shows the number and per eent of the titles in 

section is based on statistics -published annually 
in Minnesota Libraries. 





(3,006 Vols.) 
(2,477 Titles) 

5,990 Vols.) 
,168 Titles) 

No. of 



No. of 


Adult books 





Number of fiction titles.... 
Per cent of all adult titles 

Number of non-fiction titles 
Per cent of all adult titles 





Total number of adult titles 
Per cent of all titles held. 





Juvenile books 

Number of fiction titles.... 
Per cent of all Juvenile 







Number of non-fiction titles 
Per cent of all Juvenile 

Number of "easy" titles 
Per cent of all Juvenile 

Total number of Juvenile 

Per cent of all titles held. 

A The "Demonstration County* is one of the counties in 
which the Minnesota State-wide WPA Library Project operated li- 
brary service demonstrations during 1940 and 1941. 

"Contract County" ii a Minnesota county which re- 
ceives library service by contract from an established local pub- 
lie library. 

The Contract County does not have a separate classifica- 
tion for "easy* books. 


each collection according to four broad categories: fiction, 
non-fiction, adult, and Juvenile. It also reveals that although 
the Contract county 1 s collection was nearly twice the size of 
that in the Demonstration county, the latter had the greater num- 
ber of different titles, for over half of the books in the Con- 
tract county were duplicate volumes. 

In the Demonstration county books for children constitute 
38 per cent of all titles held. In the Contract county 35 per 
cent of the titles fall into this category. 

In the Demonstration county collection 619, or almost 40 
per cent of its 1,564 adult titles, are non-fiction. In 4;he Con- 
tract county, on the other hand, only 247, or less than 18 per 
cent of its 1,394 titles, are non-fiction. In juvenile books a 
similar difference appears. In the Demonstration county barely 
50 per cent of the titles for children are classed as fiction, 
whereas in the Contract county this classification accounts for 
over 86 per cent of all the titles held. In contrast, the Demon- 
stration county had almost 300 non-fiction children's books, as 
opposed to barely 100 in the Contract county. If it is admitted 
that non-fiction is inherently "better" than fiction, then the 
WPA-asslsted county clearly has proportionately the "better 8 col- 
lection of library reading materials. 

As a further comparative test, a qualitative analysis of 
these two county library collections was made by checking their 
holdings against five different standard lists of books and au- 
thors. Admittedly there is no single list of books which every 
library should attempt to stock In its entirety. Admittedly also, 
it is exceedingly difficult to evaluate a single book collection 
merely by counting the number of titles it holds on a given list, 
or even on several different lists. In comparative evaluations, 
however,, lists provide a very useful rough basis for Judging the 
relative merit or quality of two or more different library collec- 
tions. If the lists are sufficiently comprehensive each library 
is certain to have some of the titles listed. If the lists also 
make broad qualitative distinctions between titles, It can readily 
be shown which collections contain the largest proportion of the 
better or more permanently useful publications. 

The lists used In evaluating the Demonstration county and 
the Contract county collections are all selective Hats of titles 
compiled by and for librarians. Two of the lists contain only 


fiction. One contains only non-fiction. One is restricted to 
books for children. One contains titles of all three classes. 
The complete results of the analysis of these two collections, 
compared in terms of these five measuring instruments, are pre- 
sented in Tables 21 and 82. 

The fiction holdings of the two collections were first 
checked against the fiction section of the Standard Catalog 19 and 

OQ ' - 

the Syracuse Cold Star List for 1941. The first of these pub- 
lications is a selected list of "about 2,100 of the best novels 

for the average public library." The second is a much smaller 

list containing only about 600 titles. It was used only for ti- 
tles issued since 1931, to supplement the latest edition of the 
Standard Catalog. Fiction Section, which appeared In that year. 
The check showed that well over one-third of the titles in the 
Demonstration county's adult fiction collection were included in 
one or the other of the lists, while barely one-fourth of the 
Contract county's fiction titles were in either list. (See Table 

The non-fiction holdings of the two counties were checked 


against the 1940 edition of the Standard Catalog, a list of 
12,000 titles recommended for inclusion In public library collec- 
tions. The Demonstration county had 365 of the titles in this 
list, while the Contract county had only 144, or less than half 
that number. In relation to their total non-fiction holdings, 
however, both counties had approximately the same proportion of 
titles (58 per cent) from among those recommended by the Standard 

The Juvenile book collections of both counties were 


checked against the 1941 edition of the Children's Catalog. a 

1 Q 

Corinne Bacon ( compiler ) , Standard Catalog for Public 
Libraries, Fiction Section (2d ed. rev.; New York; The H. W. Wil- 
son Co. , 1931) . 

20 Syracuse (N.Y.) Public Library, &old Star List of Aaeri- 
can Fiction (1941 ed* ; Syracuse, N.Y. : The Syracuse Public Library, 

H3acon, op. olt., p. 111. 

Dorothy E. Cook and Isabel S. Monroe (compilers), 
Standard Catalog for Public Libraries (1940 ed. ; New York: The 
H. W. Wilson Co., 1940). 

23 Sirl Andrews, Dorothy E. Cook, and Agnea Cowing (com- 
pilers), Children's Catalog (6th ed. rev.; Hew York: The H. W. 
Wilson Co., 1941). 



















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list of 4,200 titles based on the recommendations of children's 
librarians and school librarians in active service. In the Demon- 
stration county 538, or 58.3 per cent, of its children's titles 
were listed in this catalog, compared to only 310, or 40 per cent, 
of those in the Contract county. 

When the holdings of each county on all of the above lists 
combined were totaled, it appeared that 1,224 titles, or almost 
half of those in the Demonstration county's collection, were among 
che titles recommended for libraries. In the Contract county only 
750, or less than 35 per cent of the titles, were included in the 
three lists combined. 

In order to test the adequacy of the three primary meas- 
ures used, the entire collections of both counties were also 
checked against a separate measure. The tool used for this pur- 
pose was the "Horton list," 24 a small but carefully selected list 
of books (Including fiction, non-fiction, and juvenile titles) 
recommended for all small public libraries. The use of this list 
confirmed the findings revealed by the other measures. The num- 
bers of adult and Juvenile Horton titles held in each county are 
reported in Table 22. In the Demonstration county nearly 14 per 
cent of its adult titles were Included among those recommended by 
Miss Horton, as opposed to only 10.5 per cent of the Contract 
county's adult collection. More than 13 per cent of the children's 
titles in the Demonstration county were also Horton list selec- 
tions, as opposed to less than 8 per cent in the Contract county. 
The combined holdings of adult and Juvenile titles on the list 
were 13.7 per cent for the Demonstration county and 9.4 per cent 
for the Contract county. 

Since accessibility is an Important factor in determining 
what books most persona read, the materials available at specific 
lending stations are those of greatest concern to the individual 
reader. In order to carry the comparison of these two counties 
down to the level of actual service, therefore, the collections 
of comparable lending outlets in each county were also checked 
against the three standard book selection guides. 

84 Marion Horton (compiler), Buying List of Books for Small 
Libraries (6th ed.; Chicago: American Library Association, 1940). 

26 Baeon, op. oit.; Syracuse (N.Y. ) Public Library, O. 
olt.; Cook and Monroe, op. Pit.; and Andrews, Cook, and Cowing, 
OP. eit. 


The collection at the Demonstration county's station was 
located in a drug store in a village of slightly less than 1,000 
inhabitants. The deposits in this county ranged in size from 111 
to 303 volumes. The one selected for analysis contained 225 vol- 
umes, consisting of 150 adult and 75 juvenile books. Over 30 per 
cent of the adult collection was non-fiction. Of the entire col- 
lection 112 volumes, or nearly 50 per cent, were included in one 
of the 3 standard lists of books recommended for library purchase. 

The collection selected for analysis in the Contract 
county was one in a newly established branch library housed in 
the municipal building of a town of 1,100 inhabitants. This col- 
lection contained 218 volumes. It was staffed by volunteers from 
a local literary society, and included only 11 books for children. 
Less than 22 per cent of the adult titles were non-fiction, and 
only 59 titles, or 27 per cent of the entire collection, were 
listed in any of the 3 standard library lists. 

If these collections are truly representative of the books 
available to individual readers in each county, there can be lit- 
tle doubt that the average resident of the Demonstration county 
had access to better reading materials than his counterpart in 
the particular Contract county selected for analysis. 

The results of the foregoing analysis of the book collec- 
tions in the two counties may be summarized briefly, as follows: 

1. The Demonstration county had barely half as many volumes 
but many more Individual titles than the Contract county. 

2. In its adult collection, the Demonstration county had double 
the number and twice the percentage of non-fiction titles 
included in the standard lists used as measures. 

3. The Demonstration county had many more of the titles recom- 
mended IB each list checked than the Contract county. 

4. With the exception of adult non-fiction, the Demon a tr at ion 
county also had a substantially higher proportion of its 
titles in each one of the lists. 

5. The results of checking both collections against the Eorton 
list for small public libraries confirmed the differences 
revealed by the use of the other standard measures. 

6. The comparative analysis of sample deposit collections by 
the sane measures accurately reflected the known differences 
in the total holdings of the two counties. 

Three facts should be borne in mind in interpreting these 
findings* First, only the Demonstration collection can be cons id- 


ered as typical or representative of its group of counties. The 
Contract collection is located in an approximately median county 
among the 13 with this type of service , and it is the only one 
with reasonably comparable data available. In the second place, 
the analysis of collections was based solely on numbers of indi- 
vidual titles, so did not reveal the extent of duplication or the 
quality of the titles thus made widely available in each county. 
Finally, the Contract county collection, nearly twice the size of 
the other, had been built up over a period of many years, while 
the Demonstration collection had been assembled entirely during 
1939 and 1940. It is obvious that all county contract collections 
in Minnesota cannot be judged by the one analyzed here. In the 
present instance, however, it appears clear that although the Con- 
tract county had nearly twice as many volumes as the Demonstration 
co-unty, the latter had a notably broader selection and superior 
quality of titles available to its readers. 

The reason for the difference in the caliber of reading 
materials provided in these two counties is closely related to ad- 
mitted differences in their respective policies of book selection. 
In the Contract county the librarian is a local person without 
academic or formal library training, who has served in the same 
library for more than a quarter of a century. The library frankly 
follows the "demand" theory in selecting books for county readers, 
with the result that its collection contains 13 titles each of 
Joseph C. Lincoln, E. Phillips Oppenheim, and Mary Roberts Rine- 
hart, 26 titles of Zane rey, 28 of Grace Livingston Hill, and 33 
of Kathleen Norrls to mention but a few of the authors whose 
works are widely duplicated and thus comprise a substantial por- 
tion of the entire county book stock. 

The books for the Demonstration counties, on the other 
hand, are selected by the professional staff of the state Library 
Division, in accord with definite standards and with the needs and 
reading abilities of a specific group of readers in mind. As de- 
scribed by the individual In charge of book selection for the en- 
tire project, the purchase of new books for demonstration use 

.... popular reprints of standard fiction, the better cur- 
rent novels of wide appeal, readable adventure and travel 
narratives, and popular accounts of scientific explorations. 
Authoritative, simply written books on agriculture, machinery, 
vocations, child care, the home, self-help, social and Indus- 


trial problems, and interna-cional affairs are included to 
meet the everyday problem of the reader and to keep him in- 
formed on events in the world about him In the se- 
lection of Juvenile books, less emphasis is placed on the new 
than on the classics of childhood published in attractive but 
Inexpensive editions. 6 

This comparison of book collections alone admittedly does 
not determine the relative adequacy of library service in two 
counties. In this instance, however, it does serve to suggest 
the advantages to be gained in rural communities by co-operation 
through centralized, professionally supervised book selection, as 
developed by the Minnesota state-wide OTA library project. 

Summary and Conclusions 

This chapter has described the organization and operation 
of the Minnesota state-wide WPA library project as an example of 
an intensive, carefully controlled program of library extension 
by demonstration. Attention has been called to such noteworthy 
features of this project as its use of centrally prepared pub- 
licity, its centralized selection and processing of books, its 
complete dependence upon rotating deposit collections instead of 
direct bookmobile service, and its provision for filling readers* 
requests for individual titles or for books on specific subjects. 
The chronological development of the project from 1938 to 1942 
has been described and the results of its activities in each of 
its first group of demonstration counties have been discussed. 
Finally, an approach to an evaluation of the service rendered by 
the project has been made by presenting a comparative analysis 
of the book collections in a demonstration county and in a county 
served by contract with an established public library. 

In conclusion, certain weaknesses in organization or op- 
eration which appear to have rendered the efforts of the Minne- 
sota project somewhat less effective than they might have been, 
may be enumerated. 

Divided responsibility for the over-all administration of 
library project activity at the state level, together with a 
failure of the sponsor and the WPA state office to achieve mutual 
understanding concerning basic objectives, were obstacles which 
hampered the progress of the demonstration program repeatedly 


during its entire period of operation. 

Closely related to this difficulty was the inadequate 
provision of supervisory personnel. Because of frequent changes 
in field supervisors and the failure to replace promptly those 
leaving the project, individual supervisors were often trans- 
ferred to new territories Just when the counties in which they 
had been stationed needed them most. Citizen support for a county 
library appropriation seriously needs constant professional guid- 
ance and stimulation if this goal is to be reached, however ear- 
nestly individual lay leaders may desire its achievement. Rarely 
can a new supervisor accomplish as much in a given area as the 
person who organized citizen Interest from the beginning. In 
Minnesota the demonstration program operated for months at a time 
with no State Supervisor available to represent the project In 
Individual counties when the issue of permanent tax support was 
being raised for settlement. In view of this fact, the achieve- 
ments that were attained as a result of project activity are all 
the more notable. 

A third weakness of the Minnesota project was its failure 


to "organize" many of its demonstration counties before inaugu- 
rating service on a county-wide basis. As in South Carolina, it 
became evident that by "giving" the service before obtaining defi- 
nite commitments for co-operation and temporary support from co- 
sponsoring local libraries and Interested groups of citizens the 
difficulty of developing active participation later was substan- 
tially increased. This was particularly serious in cases where 
demonstration services were Inaugurated without the co-operation 
of established public libraries. 

The failure to "reach" many rural residents was another 
weakness of the Minnesota demonstration program. A tabulation by 
township of the various votes taken on the county library question 
reveals that except in cities and towns where an established li- 
brary was not participating in the demonstration, the opposition 
to tax-supported county library service was predominantly rural. 


The word "organizing" in this sense refers to laying the 
groundwork for a successful demonstration by explaining its objec- 
tives, methods, and services to Interested community groups, by 
forming a county Citizens Library Association to sponsor the move^ 
ment for permanent service, and by getting established libraries, 
local newspapers, radio stations, and individual civic leaders to 
lend their active support to the undertaking. 


In Blue Earth County the rural voters in 12 out of 19 townships 
rejected the library proposal, while only 2 of the county 1 s 9 
cities and villages turned it down. The rural vote alone would 
have defeated the measure; but a larger urban vote carried it de- 
cisively. In Waseca County, although the cities and villages 
supported the county library proposal 2 to 1, the rural residents 
in 6 of the county's 12 townships voted against it. Fortunately 
for the county library, their combined votes were not enough to 
affect the result of the election. In Freebom County the library 
tax proposal was carried in 7 of the county 1 s 10 cities and vil- 
lages. However, it was defeated decisively by the rural voters 
in all 20 townships; and in this instance the rural vote was suf- 
ficient to decide the issue. In G-oodhue and Mower counties the 
decisive defeat of the county library proposal may be explained 
in part by the fact that it was presented at the township elec- 
tions, in which few town and village residents participate regu- 

Most farmers (who, with their families, comprise the ma- 
jority of this state's rural residents) habitually read little 
else than farm magazines and a weekly or daily paper. They work 
their own farms and have little time for reading books. They are 
thrifty and conservative, and hence tend to oppose additional 
taxes for the establishment and maintenance of such an "unneces- 
sary luxury 11 as public library service. These considerations ex- 
plain in part the natural opposition of rural voters to county 
library development. However, the consistently strong rural op- 
position expressed at the polls in several demonstration counties 
suggests that the Hinnesota project ! s policy of relying on deposit 
stations alone may have resulted in failure to reach the majority 
of the people living outside of communities with such deposits. 
As has already been noted (p. 213), this project might well have 
experimented with at least one bookmobile unit to supplement its 
deposit station service, in the Interest of serving rural as well 
aa small community residents. 

The final and in many ways the most important criticism 
of the Minnesota state-wide project concerns its failure to estab- 
lish a single aulti-county or regional library demonstration. As 
has been noted (p. 210), one of the announced objectives of the 
project v&s "to demonstrate the economy and practicability of a 

library system organized on county and regional lines. tt ^ 8 

In the monthly news reports on the progress of the demon- 
stration program, and in official publicity released in behalf of 
the project, the sponsor regularly referred to its area-wide 
services as "county or regional" library demonstrations. Early 
in 1939 it was reported that "The Blue Earth County Library Demon- 
stration has been changed to the Mankato Regional Library Demon- 
stration because of requests from Watonwan and Waseca counties 


that the benefits of the demonstration be extended to them." 
However, in March of that year a separate demonstration was In- 
augurated in Waseca with the object of helping the county to es- 
tablish an independent library system of its own. This, appar- 
ently, was the only instance in which even a beginning was made 
toward the organization of a regional library demonstration in 

It is admitted that the existence of entrenched local li- 
brary interests and the greater ability of individual counties to 
support some rural library service independently render the de- 
velopment of regional units somewhat more difficult in Minnesota 
than in South Carolina. This study, fully cognizant of the 
strength of local pride in communities with established local li- 
braries, and of the limitations governing the entire conduct of 
project operations, is not prepared to suggest how greater prog- 
ress toward the development of regional libraries might have been 
obtained in Minnesota. However, it is appropriate to call atten- 
tion to a proposal for regional co-operation with regard to se- 
lected services which appears to be particularly applicable to 
conditions in southern Minnesota. This proposal envisages a 
plan of co-operation wherein improved county-wide service can be 
obtained throughout a natural region without Jeopardizing the 
autonomy of any existing local public libraries* It contemplates 
the "regionalitation" of only certain technical functions, such 

28 Minnesota Department of Education, Library Division, 
Minnesota Library Notes and News. XII (December, 1938), 239'. 


Quoted from a typewritten monthly report of the State 
Supervisor of the Minnesota state-wide IfPA library project, Janu- 
ary 14, 1939. 

30 Carleton B. Joeckel, "Design for a Regional Library 
Unit," Library Quarterly. XII (July, 1942), 671-82. 


as the ordering and processing of books , and the administration 
of reference service and work with children, which require more 
specialized personnel and book collections than the typical small, 
local library can command. 

In terms of regional development, the potentialities of 
the opportunity presented by WPA library assistance were never 
fully achieved in Minnesota. Nevertheless, as an Illustration of 
a WPA project organized to further the establishment of permanent 
library service under the general supervision of the authorized 
state library agency, the Minnesota state-wide project is an under- 
taking worthy of note. 


The Soope and Method of the Study 

The general purpose of this study has been to examine the 
WPA program of assistance to libraries as an experiment In fed- 
eral aid. The function of this chapter is to review briefly the 
scope and method of the study, to summarize its principal find- 
ings, to present an over-all evaluation of the WPA library as- 
sistance program, and to Indicate certain elements in the program 
which appear to merit inclusion in any future plan for federal 
library aid. The more specific object of the investigation has 
been to describe and to evaluate the characteristic WPA pattern 
of assisting in library development by conducting county or re- 
gional library demonstrations. This evaluation is based on a 
study of the organization and administration of WPA library as- 
sistance projects in 1940 and 1941. 

The methods employed throughout the study are those of 
applied research in public administration, with special emphasis 
upon the case study. The evaluation of WPA library assistance 
at the national level is treated as a case study in which the ob- 
jectives and policies of the entire program are considered in 
terms of official statements, basic regulations, and recommended 
operating procedures formulated for the guidance of state-wide 
project supervisors by the Library Service Section of the WPA in 
Washington. At the state level two case studies of individual 
state-wide library projects (South Carolina and Minnesota) are 
presented as example* of the adaptation of the WPA pattern of 
library assistance to two entirely different sets of geographic, 
economic, and social conditions. 

The sources of data include various books, articles, and 
laws and regulations dealing with work relief, publications on 

M. Pf iffner, Research Methods in Public Administra- 
tion (New York: The Ronald Press Co., 1840), chap. 1. 



library extension and public administration, official reports of 
library project operation, correspondence and interviews with WPA 
officers and project sponsors, and notes from visits to individual 
county and regional library service demonstrations. 

Two sets of criteria are used for the administrative 
evaluation of the WPA library assistance program: -(1) a state- 
ment of "principles of administrative organization" formulated by 
Floyd W. Reeves, 2 and (2) a "code of best practice for a library 
demonstration program" based on an analysis of earlier. county or 
regional library demonstrations. 

Principal Findings 

The principal findings of the study may be summarized in 
three sections: (1) library assistance under the FERA, PWA, GWP, 
and NYA, (2) the WPA library assistance program, and (3) library 
project administration at the state level. 

Library assistance under the FERA, PWA, CWP, and NYA. 
Library service, like relief of the needy, has been traditionally 
a local responsibility in the United States, During the depres- 
sion, however, the federal government assumed a definite responsi- 
bility for certain phases of public relief, and, through its work 
relief projects, developed a substantial program of indirect fed- 
eral library aid. 

The first federal work programs which assisted libraries 
were the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and the Public 
Works Administration, 5 both established in 1933. The function of 
the former agency was to make grants for relief to the individual 
states, which then applied the funds to direct or work relief at 
their own discretion. Various types of library work and some 
public library construction were undertaken as "made-work" proj- 
ects under state FERA programs. The PWA, as a recovery agency 
established to assist in the financing of locally sponsored con- 
struction projects, also benefited libraries by making grants for 


Floyd W. Reeves, "Some General Principles of Administra- 
tive Organization" in C. B. Joeckel (ed,), Current Issues in Li- 
brary Administration (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939), 
pp. 1-21. 

Originally entitled the Federal Emergency Administration 
of Public Works. 

many new library buildings. 

During the critical winter of 1933-34 the Civil Works 
Program was hastily created to provide immediate Jobs for the na- 
tion's unemployed, while state programs and PWA projects were 
getting under way. Naturally enough, the library activities of 
this emergency program were largely continuations of those begun 
under the FERA. In March, 1934, the federally-administered CWF 
was discontinued; and until the establishment of the WPA in 1935 
all work relief was conducted under state-operated programs fi- 
nanced with FERA funds. Many of the library activities of both 
the FERA and the OWP may be characterized best as temporary, hast- 
ily conceived "busy-work," undertaken in many instances without 
providing the adequate tools, materials, equipment, or supervision 
necessary to produce results of lasting value. 

Complete, reliable statistics of the nature and extent of 
library assistance rendered under these early programs are not 
available, since most library projects before the WPA consisted 
of temporary, hastily planned activities, administered locally 
and rarely reported systematically. It is known that early in 
1935 over 10,000 women were receiving employment on nearly 1,000 
independent, local FERA library projects in 42 states, and that 
by the end of that year FERA workers had begun the construction 
of nearly 100 new library buildings and had renovated over 250 
older libraries. 4 Much of the work carried on as library work 
relief at this time was of a "house-keeping 11 character, such as 
cleaning, mending, and relettering books, cataloging special col- 
lections, compiling local indexes, and making needed building re- 
pairs. In some communities without established libraries FERA 
projects were organized to provide temporary book-lending services. 
Most of these library service experiments, however, lacked the 
supervision, book collections, quarters, and materials essential 
to the development of adequate service for even a very small com- 

In spite of the Improvement and expansion of library work 
relief which has occurred under the WPA, the importance of these 
early experimental programs should not be minimized. In a nation 

4 U.S. Federal Emergency Relief Administration , "Library 
Service though Work Projects for Women* (FERA Bulletin, Series 
W-62, Ho. 4579, January 24, 1935). (Mimeographed.) 


with no previous experience in federal library aid, the rapid ad- 
dition of over 10,000 persons to the number normally engaged in 
library activities cannot be considered inconsequential. Never- 
theless, in relation to the evolution of library assistance, it 
appears that the most important accomplishments of these FERA and 
CWP experiments were the demonstration of the suitability of li- 
brary work as a form of relief employment, the revelation of the 
need for planning, and the provision of professional supervision, 
books, and certain equipment In the development of permanently 
useful library work programs. 

In 1935 nation-wide work relief was completely reorganized. 
The FERA was superseded by the newly established WPA and its ad- 
ministrative affiliate, the NYA. Unlike the FERA, which merely 
financed state-operated relief activities, both of these agencies 
operated extensive work programs themselves. 

From 1935 to 1942 federal assistance to libraries centered 
in the WPA 1 s nation-wide program of library service projects. 
However, the NYA also rendered a not inconsiderable amount of as- 
sistance to libraries during this same period, both in its Out- 
of -School Work Program, and its Student Work Program. 

In its Out-of -School Work Program the NYA undertook to 
establish local library services in many small communities for- 
merly without them; but this activity never approached the exten- 
sive scope of the WPA's library demonstration program. In the 
fall of 1938, when NYA library projects' were at their peak, they 
were employing nearly 7,000 youth (largely in Illinois, New York, 
Pennsylvania, and Missouri) on a part-time basis. Most of these 
projects lacked the books and supervision needed for good service. 
They were limited by their dependence on youthful, part-time work- 
ers. And they tended to conflict with the more comprehensive 
programs of WPA library projects in some states. During 1941, 
therefore, NYA library service projects were largely discontinued. 

The NYA 1 s Out-of -School Work Program also benefited li- 
braries in some of its construction or manual training activities. 
In Its wood-working shops, part-time project employees constructed 
shelving and furniture for numerous established public and school 
libraries. NYA workers also constructed over 50 new library 
buildings and renovated or repaired almost 350 others. 

Perhaps the most important assistance libraries have re- 
ceived from the NYA is that rendered by part-time assistants 


under the Student Work Program. Monthly statistics on this type 
of library aid are not available. However, it can be reported 
that in the spring of 1941 over 50,000 youth, or approximately 
12 per cent of all Student Work. employees, were engaged in work 
for libraries. This program alone represents a type of federal 
aid of the greatest importance to many inadequately staffed and 
supported school and college libraries. 

The WPA library assistance program. From the beginning 
assistance to libraries has been more comprehensive and more sys- 
tematically developed by the WPA than the NYA. This is because 
the latter agency merely looked on library service as a means of 
creating part-time work for inexperienced youth , while the WPA 
considered its library assistance activities as a separate pro- 
gram with permanently useful objectives of its own. 

At the time of its inauguration in 1935, the WPA included 
library service in its preferred projects for needy women and 
professional and white-collar workers. Recognizing the impor- 
tance of sound planning, WPA officials early solicited advice and 
help from experienced librarians in developing uniform procedures 
and minimum operating standards for all library service projects. 
In 1936 the WPA began to employ trained, non-relief librarians as 
project supervisors, and authorized the expenditure of limited 
amounts of federal funds for books and mobile equipment needed 
as "tools" by an effective library assistance program. 

Finally, in 1938, the WPA established the Library Service 
Section as a "staff" or advisory office in the central headquar- 
ters in Washington. The principal functions of the Section were: 
(1) to assist the agency in planning and co-ordinating its vari- 
ous library assistance activities, (2) to formulate objectives, 
policies, standards, and technical procedures for use on Individ- 
ual projects, and (3) to furnish professional advice and assist- 
ance to project supervisors and sponsors throughout the nation. 
The consolidation of library assistance In each state into a sin- 
gle "state-wide" project, and the redirection of the program 
toward an emphasis upon rural library demonstrations during 1938, 
completed the most important steps in the evolution of the WPA 
pattern of assistance to libraries. 

At least four distinct kinds of WPA library assistance 
may be distinguished. They are: (l) the construction and re- 
pair of library buildings, (2) the preparation and publication 


of various indexes, bibliographies, and other reference books, 
(3) the provision of relief workers to assist established libra- 
ries in expanding their services, and (4) the operation of demon- 
strations to further the development of permanent library serv- 
ice in formerly unserved areas. This study is concerned primarily 
with aid to existing libraries and the extension of library serv- 
ice by demonstration, for these comprise the two principal func- 
tions performed by the WPA state-wide library projects. Library 
construction and bibliographic projects are not administratively 
a part of the WPA library program, although the Library Service 
Section renders advisory service to the sponsors of bibliographic 
undertakings . 

WPA aid to established libraries Involves the employment 
of relief workers to perform almost any type of library work 
which represents an expansion of the services normally rendered 
by each library. Staffing a small library for longer hours than 
usual, repairing worn or damaged books, cataloging unoataloged 
collections, and preparing picture or clipping collections are 
typical services performed in this phase of WPA library assist- 
ance. The actual work performed, therefore, Includes the same 
kind of activities that are carried on as regular functions in 
established library systems. However, lest individual communi- 
ties may use federal assistance to replace local support of li- 
brary services, all work done by WPA project workers in any li- 
brary must be shown to constitute a real extension of that par- 
ticular library's normal program of service. This limitation of 
relief work for existing libraries to new or additional services 
is a key point in the WPA's library assistance policy. 

Under the pattern of organization established in 1938, 
all WPA library assistance activities In each state are adminis- 
tered as a single state-wide project. This project, which in- 
cludes both aid to established libraries and the operation of li- 
brary service demonstrations, requires approval from the central 
WPA administration in Washington (including the Library Service 
Section) before It can begin to function. Thereafter, it is ad- 
ministratively responsible only to the State WPA Administrator, 
although its supervisors may call upon the Library Service Sec- 
tion in Washington at any time for technical or professional 
guidance. Usually It is sponsored by the state library agency 
and oo-sponsorcd by each participating local library, school 

board, or other Interested public body. 

During 1938, the extension or demonstration aspect of WPA 
library assistance began to receive increasing emphasis. From 
1939 to 1942 it constituted the dominant phase of most state-wide 
library projects. All WPA library service demonstrations are co- 
operative enterprises involving federal , state, and local parti- 
cipation. The federal government provides workers to staff the 
service, professional supervisors, some new books, and perhaps a 
share in the cost of necessary mobile equipment. The state spon- 
sor usually contributes office space, books, and some supervision. 
Local co-sponsors also provide quarters, and some books and funds. 
Finally, individual citizens and citizens 1 organizations partici- 
pate by working for continuation by tax support of the service 
inaugurated by the WPA. 

Further, aWP A demonstration is essentially a tool to as- 
sist individual communities in obtaining library service through 
the establishment of county or regional libraries. It organizes 
area-wide service and operates it until the assisted communities 
have had time to provide for its permanent support. During this 
period the federal government may furnish as much as 75 per cent 
of the total cost of the project. When the issue of permanent 
support is raised and settled, demonstration assistance is cus- 
tomarily withdrawn. 

A detailed comparison of the WPA pattern of library ex- 
tension by demonstration with several previous noteworthy library 
service demonstrations indicates that the WPA program is essen- 
tially sound, notwithstanding its dependence on relief workers 
for most of its personnel. 

Like these other programs, the WPA emphasized administra- 
tion at the county, or operating level, and the centralization of 
book selection, processing, and the distribution of demonstration 
collections. The policy of vesting considerable authority in 
district and area supervisors over the conduct of individual 
county demonstrations made it possible to adapt the WPA 1 s recom- 
mended procedures to peculiar local conditions while maintaining 
satisfactory standards of project operation. The plan of cen- 

^The Louisiana, Fraser Valley, and Prince Edward Island 
demonstrations, assisted by the Carnegie Corporation, the Rosen- 
wald county library demonstration in the South, and the Tennessee 
Valley Authority's library assistance program. 


tralizlng book selection and cataloging for all demonstrations 
at the state level also provided each assisted county with a 
quality of professional service that would not otherwise have 
been available to individual counties. 

The expenditure of "outside" funds (in this case, federal 
funds) for supervision, books, and bookmobiles was another char- 
acteristic in which the WPA state-wide projects followed the 
precedent established by previous demonstration programs. It was 
this policy, in fact, which made WPA library assistance so much 
more productive of permanently worthwhile results than the library 
activities carried on under earlier work relief programs. 

Emphasis on area-wide service at the county or regional 
level was another important feature of the WPA program a feature 
in which it resembled other demonstrations but differed from most 
FERA and Civil Works Program library projects. 

Through the device of sponsorship, and through the organ- 
ization of citizen's library associations in each demonstration 
area, the WPA assured its assistance program of the active par- 
ticipation of local communities In the development of permanent 
library service through its county and regional demonstrations. 
As in each of the earlier demonstration undertakings, the WPA en- 
listed the active support of civic leaders, local radio and press 
facilities, and citizens' organizations In behalf of the movement 
for tax-supported county library service; and in many states it 
even negotiated contractual agreements with local library boards 
and organized lay groups for definite financial participation In 
its library service demonstrations. 

Finally, the methods of safeguarding the standards of 
service offered by the WPA program are worthy of special mention, 
since it had to depend largely on inexperienced relief personnel 
to staff Its lending centers and to perform the clerical work on 
all of its demonstrations. The establishment of the Library 
Service Section In Washington to formulate recommended procedures 
for library project operation and to assist the states in plan- 
ning their demonstration programs was one device that contributed 
materially to the development of sound state-wide projects. The 
employment of professionally trained supervisors, in the ratio 
of one to every twenty relief workers, was a second important fac- 
tor contributing to the success of the entire WPA library assist- 
ance program. And the in-service training courses conducted by 


Individual state projects was a third device extensively utilized 
to render the services of relief workers more effective. These 
courses, planned and administered by each state-wide project's 
supervisory personnel, provided enough simple instruction in basic 
library techniques to make project; employees reasonably competent 
clerical or subprofesslonal library workers. With few exceptions, 
therefore, WPA library demonstrations were able to develop stand- 
ards of service fully as satisfactory as those of previously es- 
tablished demonstration programs. 

From the point of view of administration, the WPA is a 
typical llne-and- staff organization with clearly defined lines of 
authority and responsibility. It has four vertical hierarchical 
levels corresponding to four geographical divisions of diminish- 
ing size. These four levels are the Central Administration, Re- 
gional offices, State Administrations, and District offices. The 
two highest levels are planning, supervising, and policy-making 
levels but they conduct no work projects directly. Under the 
WPA's plan of decentralized administration the state is the pri- 
mary operating level, while the district is the level for the 
management of individual projects. At each level there are four 
functional divisions concerned with: (1) employment; (2) re- 
search, statistics, and finance; (3) engineering projects; and 
(4) community service programs. Library projects constitute a 
separate program within the Division of Community Service Pro- 

Authority over the operation of all WPA projects passes 
directly down through the chiefs of the four vertical levels to 
the heads of their respective functional divisions. However, 
professional guidance Is assured to the specialized divisions at 
each level by the provision that the central divisional directors 
should render technical instruction and advice to specific proj- 
ects in their fields at all levels. Thus, although a State-wide 
Library Project Supervisor is administratively responsible to his 
State Administrator, he is free to negotiate directly with the 
Library Service Section in Washington concerning the professional 
or technical aspects of project operation. 

In general, it may be said that the VPA library asslst- 
anoe program observes accepted principles of good administration. 
It has a practical span of control for most of Its officers. It 
delegates authority with responsibility. It groups its employees 


according to logical bases of homogeneity. And it makes at least 
some provision for co-ordination by integrating all library ac- 
tivities in a single project in each state. 

The primary administrative weakness of the program is its 
failure to provide the Library Service Section with enough author- 
ity to enforce the maintenance of minimum standards for the oper- 
ation of all library projects. As a "staff" or advisory officer, 
the Director of this section can only make suggestions or recom- 
mendations to the supervisors of individual state-wide projects. 
This is because library assistance is but one of many programs 
operated by the WPA; and it has been the belief of WPA leaders 
that the efficiency and co-ordination of work programs at the 
state level might be seriously weakened if individual projects 
were subject to direct administrative control by their profes- 
sional or technical representatives in Washington. 

It has been noted that complete reports on the extent of 
library assistance rendered through each federal work program are 
not available. Enough figures are at nand, however, to show that 
in the aggregate this aid hag been considerable. In fact, it has 
been far more substantial than many librarians, who know library 
work relief only as it has affected their own libraries, realize. 
Whatever the merits or weaknesses of individual library projects 
maybe, they have brought about an improvement in the nation's 
library facilities and an extension in library services that un- 
doubtedly would never have been undertaken on such a scale with 
state and local funds alone. 

In the construction phase of assistance to libraries va- 
rious federal work programs had completed over 1,500 different 
projects by the end of 1941. 6 These achievements include the 
erection of more than 350 new library buildings. The PWA, as- 
sisted by state and local matching appropriations, financed the 
construction of over 100 new libraries la 40 states, at a total 
cost of nearly $13, 000, 000; and it aided in the provision of li- 
brary quarters in some 1,800 different school buildings The 
WPA constructed nearly 200 new libraries or additions, and reno- 
vated well over 800 others. Complete fiscal reports on WPA and 

The figures mentioned in this summary of federal library 
assistance are quoted from chap, iv, where more detailed statis- 
tics are presented with full documentation. 


NY.A library construction are not available; so the total extent 
of this type of federal library aid cannot be presented in this 
study. It would appear, however, that the total expenditures 
(including both federal and state contributions) on federally- 
assisted library construction and repair from 1933 through 1941 
were nearer $50,000,000 than $25,000,000.- 

From its establishment, in 1935, the WPA alone spent 
nearly $100,000,000 of federal funds on library service projects, 
or almost double the amount usually spent in support of public 
libraries throughout the entire United States each year. During 
1940-41, the total cost of WPA library projects was over 
$26,000,000. In other words, during that year the addition of 
WPA library activities increased by one-half the nation's normal 
expenditure for public library service. Almost $19,000,000, or 
over 72 per cent of this amount, represents non-reimbursable fed- 
eral library aid, since it was the WPA's share of the total cost 
of project operation. Over $500,000 of WPA funds were spent for 
books, bookmobile rentals, and other non-labor items. 

It is of interest to note that although this federal con- 
tribution to library projects in 1940-41 constituted only 1.5 per 
cent of all WPA expenditures for that year, it exceeded the amount 
of aid which, If distributed on an equalization basis, could pro- 
vide every state in the nation with a $.60 per capita standard of 


library service. Moreover, during that year, 18 different states 
each received over $500,000 in WPA library project assistance. 
In terms of state-wide development, therefore, WPA expenditures 
represent a very real and considerable program of federal aid for 
library development . 

The actual amount of WPA library aid received by individ- 
ual states during 1940-41 ranged from nearly $2,000,000 down to 
$700. The median was approximately $250,000. Ohio, Illinois, 
Texas, New Jersey, and California each received more than 
$1,000,000 in library project benefits that year. Four states, 
Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Carolina, received benefits 
exceeding $.25 per capita from the program. The range in per cap- 
ita benefits was from $.28 down to $.001, with a median of $.13. 

7 The amount required for such an equalized program Is 
less than $17,000,000, according to Carleton B. Joeckel, Library 
Service (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1938), p. 86. 


On a regional basis the Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana, 
Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin, obtained 
far greater benefits from library projects than any other section 
of the United States, for these eight states together received 
more than one-third of all WPA library assistance funds that year. 

The pattern of distribution of WPA library project ex- 
penditures is of particular interest to this study. In order to 
determine whether benefits from the program were apportioned ac- 
cording to differences in need, the distribution of federal ex- 
penditures on library work relief in 1940-41 was compared with 
five measures of the states 1 relative need for library aid. The 
measures used for these comparisons were: (1) population, (2) 
the number of people in each state without library service, (3) 
annual per capita amounts of federal aid recommended in a proposed 
"Schedule of Federal Grants to Libraries, 11 (4) annual per capita 
income payments, and (5) annual per capita library support. The 
method used in making these comparisons was that of rank order 
correlation, in which the rank order of the states in library 
project benefits received is related to their rank according to 
each of the measures of relative need. The first two measures 
were compared with gross amounts of federal funds received, while 
the other three measures were related to per capita benefits. 

Of the five measures used only the first two are at all 
closely associated with the distribution of library assistance in 
1940-41. The rank order correlation of project benefits with 
population is +.91, or very high, while their relation to the num- 
ber of people without library service in each state is +.53. On 
the other hand, there is no important relationship whatever, be- 
tween per capita benefits received and any of the three per cap- 
ita measures used; for none of these rank order correlations is 
higher than +.16. 

The five measures used for these comparisons are admit- 
tedly not accurate indexes of need for federal library aid. Nev- 
ertheless, they are all clearly associated with this need; and, 
as they are used in this study, they help to characterize the pat- 
tern according to which WPA library assistance was apportioned in 
1940-41. The correlations show definitely that in that year li- 
brary project benefits were distributed at least roughly on the 




basis of population, and, to a lesser extent, according to the 
number of persons without library service in each state. They 
also show, however, that on a per capita basis there was almost 
no relationship whatever between the amount of assistance re- 
ceived and various economic measures of need. The close relation- 
ship existing between project benefits and population is readily 
explained by the fact that the distribution of funds for all WPA 
activities has been based on population and on estimates of the 
relief needs of the various states. 

Within individual states, two other factors played an im- 
portant part in determining the relative emphasis given to library 
projects in relation to other types of white-collar relief work. 
These are the existence of a strong and active state library 
agency, ready to plan and supervise a sound library assistance 
program, and a popular and articulate citizen interest in the 
state-wide extension of tax-supported public library service. 
States in which these factors were present naturally tended to 
benefit proportionately more from the program than others lacking 
in active, organized professional and lay library leadership. 

Expenditures on library projects are but one measure of 
the extent of the library assistance rendered by the W?A. Statis- 
tics on employment and on selected aspects of project achievement 
also help to describe the scope of the WPA's library program. 
Library project employment fluctuated considerably from month to 
month each year. In 1938, when the VJPA program was at its peak, 
library projects were providing full-time work for over 38,000 
persons, or more than the number normally employed as "librarians 
and library assistants" throughout the entire nation. During 
the year 1940-41, an average of 25,000 persons were employed on 
WPA library service projects. Non-relief supervisors comprised 
less than 4 per cent of the program's personnel. Over 80 per 
cent of its workers were women at that time. 

To provide concrete examples of library project accom- 
plishment, a Tew additional statistics may be cited. By June, 
1941, 10PA workers had repaired approximately 100,000,000 worn or 
damaged books for public and school libraries since the beginning 


U.S. Bureau of the Census, Fifteenth Census of the 
United States: 1950 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1933), 
V, 48. This enumeration reports a total of 31,478 persons em- 
ployed as "Librarians and Library Assistants. 11 

of the program In 1935. The WPA had purchased over 260,000 new 
books for use In library service demonstrations, and had assisted 
approximately 150 different counties in obtaining bookmobiles for 
extending library service to rural areas. During July, August, 
and September, 1941, over 1,700, or more than half of all the 
counties in the United States, were receiving some library as- 
sistance from the WPA. At that time WPA workers were operating 
365 area-wide library service systems, including 22 regional sys- 
tems serving 71 counties. In addition to these area-wide systems 
the WPA was also staffing 2,664 Independent local libraries. 
These WPA-operated library services had a combined book stock of 
nearly 8,000,000 volumes, and they were serving an estimated to- 
tal population of almost 14,000,000 persons. During this same 
period the WPA was providing various types of additional assist- 
ance to over 4,300 established libraries, 

Thus, in summary, the most important single fact concern- 
ing WPA assistance to libraries is its magnitude. Analysis of 
the distribution of project benefits shows that they were appor- 
tioned roughly according to population, and only slightly in pro- 
portion to relative need Tor federal library aid. Finally, a 
consideration of the entire WPA library assistance program in 
terms of administrative principles and library extension practice 
reveals that in spite of its limitations as a work relief enter- 
prise, the WPA developed a pattern of assistance to libraries 
that is essentially practicable, and is administratively and pro- 
fessionally sound. 

Library project administration at the state level Two 

diametrically opposite policies have characterized WPA library 
project administration at the state level. One of these policies 
looks upon WPA library assistance as a temporary, opportunity that 
should be made available immediately, even In small amounts, to 
all parts of the state at once. The other policy considers this 
aid as a resource which, can be used, to beat advantage by concen- 
trating it in a few areas, in large enough amounts to provide a 
strong foundation for the development of permanent, adequately 
supported library service. One of the -state -wide WPA library 
projects (South Carolina) which this study treats in detail was 
guided by the first of these two policies. The other (Minnesota) 
adhered consistently to tbe second policy. 

In South Carolina, the state as a whole is relatively 


poor and is overwhelmingly rural, with, the exception of three 
metropolitan counties. When WPA library assistance first became 
available, South Carolina had no active state library agency, very 
little area-wide library service, few adequately supported local 
-libraries, and little or no effective library leadership. Some 
library work relief had been started under the FERA; and, soon 
after the WPA was established, a state-wide library project was 
organized in South Carolina, with the State Board of Education as 
sponsor. By the end of 1936, WPA workers were operating school 
and public library services in nearly all of the state's 46 coun- 
ties. By 1941, over 30 bookmobiles, for use in as many counties, 
had been obtained with federal aid. At that time almost 700 work- 
ers were employed by this project, separate library facilities 
for Negroes had been provided in 12 different counties, and two 
regional library demonstrations had been started on an experimen- 
tal basis. 

From the point of view of Increased support for libraries, 
the results of South Carolina's use of WPA assistance are some- 
what disappointing. While many of the state's counties are not 
financially able to support adequate, independent library systems, 
some others that could afford to tax themselves for county serv- 
ice came to consider WPA-assisted demonstrations as permanent, 
federally-subsidized services. It is questionable, therefore, 
whether South Carolina's plan of extending some service to all 
seotlons of the state at once has laid sound foundations for ade- 
quate, self-sufficient service in many of the counties that have 
benefited from the program. This policy has, however, made some 
books available in every county, whereas 21 counties had no pub- 
lic libraries at all before the WPA. And perhaps it has created 
an awareness of the benefits of public library service that, prop- 
erly directed, may eventually lead to more permanent library de- 
velopment in South Carolina, through some form of state aid for 

In Minnesota an entirely different situation existed when 
the WPA state-wide library project was organized, late In 1938. 
Here, because of these different conditions, the second policy, 
that of concentrating WPA assistance in a few, strong demonstra- 
tions, was followed. Minnesota has a much more stable economy 
than South Carolina, based on a diversified agricultural program 
and rich mineral deposits. It has nearly twice the per capita 


economic ability of South Carolina, and had made substantially 
greater progress in library development before the WPA. It had 
145 tax- supported local public libraries. It had 13 counties 
which received some service by contract with established libraries. 
And it had an active library agency competent to plan and direct 
a program of rural library extension suited to the needs of the 

Like South Carolina, Minnesota had established a number 
of locally sponsored library work relief undertakings before its 
WPA state-wide project was organized. In 1938, however, all such 
activities were superseded by a single project, sponsored by the 
official state library agency. From that time until 1942, when 
the project was formally terminated, WPA library assistance in 
Minnesota was concentrated in a series of intensive library serv- 
ice demonstrations in two selected groups of counties in the rela- 
tively prosperous, southern part of the state. During 1939 and 
1940 the project operated demonstrations in only 6 of the state's 
87 counties. In 1941 it started its second series of demonstra- 
tions in 7 additional counties. 

The Minnesota project was characterized by close super- 
vision by the sponsor, carefully directed, centrally prepared 
publicity, a dependence on rotating deposit collections rather 
than bookmobiles for serving rural readers, the centralized se- 
lection and preparation of books, anjl provisions for filling in- 
dividual requests for books not included in local deposits. The 
book stock of individual demonstrations varied with the size, 
population, and number of towns and villages in each county. Some 
counties had as few as 8 deposit stations and barely 1,000 books. 
Others had as many as 20 stations and over 3,000 volumes. The 
size of individual book deposits ranged from 50 or 75 volumes to 
more than 300. 

The specific objective of the Minnesota demonstration 
program was to further the establishment of tax- supported, count y- 
wide library service by contract with existing public libraries. 
By the spring of 1942, this goal had been achieved in 3 of the 
first 7 demonstration counties. The 6 remaining demonstrations 
had not been in operation long enough to warrant submitting the 
issue or tax support to the voters for final settlement. 

The effectiveness of the Minnesota state- wide library 
project was somewhat weakened by a division of authority over 


certain phases of project operation within the WPA itself and by 
a failure of the sponsor and the WPA administration to achieve a 
complete understanding concerning "basic objectives for the pro- 
gram. The entire undertaking was also seriously affected by fre- 
quent changes in supervisory personnel and by a prolonged vacancy 
in the position of State Supervisor during 1940, when the first 
group of demonstrations were being brought to a close. It appears 
that in some areas the complete reliance on deposit collections 
may have failed to make books sufficiently accessible to rural 
readers to stimulate full use of the service and adequate support 
for its continuance. It is also unfortunate that the Minnesota 
project failed to develop a single bi-county or regional demonstra- 
tion, although some form of regional co-operation must be under- 
taken in this state before satisfactory library service can be 
made universally available. 

One aspect of this study's findings which has not yet 
been mentioned concerns the need for additional research , which 
has become evident in the course of the investigation. The writer 
has been confronted repeatedly by an inadequacy of information, 
which, if available, would have provided a more meaningful frame 
of reference for evaluating WPA assistance to libraries. Several 
studies are needed to supply this Information. For example, be- 
fore a satisfactory formula can be developed for the distribution 
of federal library aid, a thoroughgoing study of the ability of 
the various states to support library service must be made. In 
fact, if such a study is to be useful in planning a workable pro- 
posal for federal aid, it should be preceded by a study of the 
various bases for obtaining tax support for libraries in differ- 
ent states, according to existing legislation. 

Another Investigation urgently needed as a prerequisite 
to sound library planning is a study of the differences in cost* 
of area-wide library service under various forms of organization 
and support. This, in turn, suggests a study of regional experi- 
ments in the administration of rural library service and a study 
of the role of the bookmobile in extending library service to 
rural readers. 

The techniques and results of successful library demon- 
stration programs are usually reported in professional library 
periodicals. A critical study of the factors contributing to the 
failure of unsuccessful demonstration experiments would be of 

inestimable value to library extension workers in planning future 
programs aimed at the establishment of permanent, tax-supported 
library service. Finally, even though many librarians assume that 
federal and state aid for libraries is desirable, a study of the 
proper role of both the federal government and the states in the 
development, support, and supervision of library service is needed 
to clarify the issues Involved in contemporary discussions of fed- 
eral and state library aid. 

Evaluation of PA Library Assistance 
as Federal Aid 

The WPA program of assistance to libraries came Into be- 
ing as a by-product of federally-administered work relief, and 
therefore cannot be expected to exhibit all of the attributes of 
an ideal plan for federal library aid. Nevertheless, it may now 
be appropriate, by way of conclusion, to mention the principal 
deficiencies of WPA library assistance as well as its more com- 
mendable characteristics as an experiment in federal aid, in or- 
der to show what implications this program may have for future 
library planning. 

Weaknesses of the WPA program. Inadequate planning and 
general direction has been one of the principal weaknesses of 
WPA library assistance from the beginning. Because library proj- 
ects evolved as a relatively insignificant phase of an emergency 
employment program, tney have developed by trial-and-error meth- 
ods, instead of according to a carefully formulated plan. In de- 
fense of the library assistance program It can only be said that 
when the WPA was established in 1935 the necessity for beginning 
project operations immediately made it Impossible for the WPA to 
plan any of its activities with the thoroughness which an ideal 
program would require. 

Another weakness of the WPA library program was the Li- 
brary Service Section's dependence on advice and persuasion in 
inducing Individual states to develop satisfactory standards of 
project operation. As has been pointed out, library assistance 
was only an incidental objective of the WPA; and in the interest 
of efficient administration of the entire work program, final au- 
thority over the conduct of all types of projects was centered in 
a single administrator at the state level. Thus, the Library 
Service Section's most effective control over individual projects 


was achieved largely by developing friendly relations with state 
library project supervisors and by diplomatic dealings with proj- 
ect sponsors. 

A third criticism of this WPA library assistance program 
concerns its failure to establish a stable, uniformly applicable 
pattern of service to local communities. After 1938 the Library 
Service Section did try to encourage the development of library 
assistance according to a basic, uniform pattern. In some states, 
however, where its recommendations were not followed, WPA projects 
Inaugurated services duplicating, if not openly competing with, 
those of established library agencies. In fairness to the OTA, 
it should be noted that this situation was the exception. 

Another weakness of the WPA program as an experiment in 
federal aid was its failure to apportion Its benefits according 
to the need for library assistance. With regard to this criti- 
cism it can only be reiterated that the WPA was primarily an em- 
ployment program, and hence distributed its funds in accord with 
employment needs without considering more specific needs, such as 
the need for federal library aid. 

Considerable criticism has been directed at the WPA li- 
brary assistance program for the inadequacy of Its personnel. It 
is readily conceded that many library project employees lack the 
natural aptitude for developing into competent, full-time library 
assistants. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that this program 
was dependent for its very existence on providing work for persons 
in need of relief. It is therefore to the credit of the WPA that 
it emphasized professional supervision and developed in-service 
training programs in order to make up for the inevitable limit a- . 
tlons In the quality of its basic project personnel. 

Finally, numerous librarians have complained that because 
of the additional burdens it places on them for supervision and 
petty details of administration, WPA library assistance frequently 
involves more expense to established libraries than the assistance 
It renders is worth* During the first years of federal work re- 
lief there was considerable Justification for this particular 
complaint. By 1941, however, the WPA itself was providing exten- 
sive administrative and professional supervision that relieved 
participating librarians of many of these details; so this objec- 
tion has been voiced but rarely since then. 

In a very real sense the entire WPA library program can 


be considered an administrative dilemma, almost Incapable of 
wholly satisfactory solution. Most of Its weaknesses, as already 
noted in this study, are directly related to its status as a work 
relief undertaking. Naturally, had this program been concerned 
primarily, and not incidentally, with federal aid for libraries, 
many of the limitations mentioned here would not have been per- 
mitted to exist; for they seriously hampered the effectiveness of 
the program as an experiment in federal library aid. Therefore, 
in consideration of the conditions within which VPA library proj- 
ects had to function, the results that have been achieved in 
spite of their fundamental deficiencies are doubly notable. 

Strength of the WPA program. In spite of the WPA library 
program's weaknesses, many of its features were highly commend- 
able. For example, in the administrative organization of WPA li- 
brary assistance, the co-ordination of project activity at the 
state level, the centralization of certain technical functions, 
and the provision for competent professional guidance at the na- 
tional level, are all outstanding characteristics of the program. 

Emphasis on local initiative and aotlve citizen partici- 
pation Is another noteworthy feature which contributes to the 
success of VPA library assistance activities in many states. The 
decentralization of responsibility for the development of indi- 
vidual demonstrations, to permit the adaptation of project pro- 
cedures to local conditions, and the device of local co-sponsor- 
ship through the formation of citizens 1 library committees, both 
ssrvsd to further this objective. The policy of organizing demon- 
stration service through and with the full co-operation of estab- 
lished libraries stimulated local interest and good will. And 
the creation of professional advisory committees for Individual 
state-wide projects helped to obtain the active support of libra- 
rians for undertakings assisted by the projects. 

Another notable character 1st Ic of the WPA program is its 
emphasis on county or area-wide library service. Earlier library 
projects had encouraged the development of small, independent, lo- 
oal public libraries with federal assistance, but the WPA demon- 
stration program focused its attention on making area-wide service 
Available In units large enough for efficient operation and ade- 
quate support from an entire county or region. 

A final commendable feature of the WPA library assistance 
program is its provision for personnel administration. Through 


its Library Service Section in Washington the WPA established 
standard qualifications for the selection of library project su- 
pervisors; and, by means of lessons, institutes, conferences, and 
manuals, it developed in-service training programs both for super- 
visors and workers engaged in library assistance activities. In 
spite of its dependence on relief workers to staff its services, 
the WPA endeavored constantly to improve the quality and effi- 
ciency of its library project personnel. 

Implications for Future Federal Library Aid 

Thus, the net result of this analysis of the evolution of 
library work -relief in the United States has been to show that, 
although the program was hastily conceived and was seriously lim- 
ited by its necessary subordination to the work relief objective, 
it rendered substantial, essentially sound, and permanently use- 
ful assistance to the development of library service throughout 
the nation. 

The record of the WPA has demonstrated that work relief 
can become an important medium for the extension of federal as- 
sistance to libraries, and that the employment of needy persons 
is not necessarily incompatible with the achievement of worth- 
while results. The extent to which libraries may participate in 
future federally-assisted work programs will probably depend on 
how well they are prepared with efficient plans for such partici- 
pation. Moreover, the likelihood of libraries ever obtaining 
federal aid per JMB will also depend in part on the soundness of 
their proposals and the skill with which they are presented. 

It is more than likely that some kind of federal work 
program will be needed after the present war if the nation is to 
make the readjustment to a peace-time economy without widespread 
unemployment and suffering. This study, therefore, concludes with 
a statement of suggestions Intended to show how auch a program 
might include assistance to libraries without repeating the weak- 
nesses that have characterized WPA library assistance activities. 

Since the first requisite for any successful program Is 
careful planning, libraries should begin at once to develop long- 
range plans for future construction needs and expansions of serv- 
ice which might be undertaken quickly but efficiently as work 
projects. State library agencies likewise should study and eval- 


uate the results of their experience with WPA library assistance, 
and should begin to formulate improved programs for the future. 
If no such planning is undertaken, many libraries will be as un- 
prepared to participate in post-war work programs as they were 
in 1933. 

If library work is to be an important part of such a fu- 
ture federal program, every effort should be made at the outset 
to establish a strong central office to assist in planning all 
library aspects of the entire program, and to develop sound poli- 
cies, procedures, and standards to govern the operation of library 
assistance activities in all states. This office could be given 
technical authority over all undertakings affecting libraries, 
without necessarily interfering with the flow of administrative 
authority at the state level* Such a device would simply give the 
central office the kind of authority which the Library Service 
Section of the WPA so sorely lacked. It would also assure a cen- 
tral clearance of all work proposals affecting libraries, and 
would provide for the acquisition of regular, uniform reports on 
all phases of federal library assistance. The staff of the cen- 
tral office should be large enough to permit it to carry on con- 
tinual research and to Issue a regular news letter or information 
bulletin to library project personnel and interested Individuals 
and organizations throughout the nation. 

At the state level, supervision of library work programs 
should also be considerably strengthened. The plan of organizing 
all library work activities in a single state-wide project should 
be maintained, but the relation between the project administration 
and the state library agency should be much more clearly defined 
than it has been under the WPA. It might be desirable to admin- 
ister library assistance as a separate phase of state agency ac- 
tivity. Certainly, wherever possible, more authority for project 
planning and direction should be delegated to existing state li- 
brary agencies. It Is recognized, however, that many state agen- 
cies would have to be strengthened considerably before they could 
perform this function adequately. 

The personnel for such a library work program should be 
chosen from the best available labor market and should not be 
limited to persons in need of relief. Minimum professional qual- 
ifications should be maintained for the selection of supervisors 
and technical specialists, and prior local residence should not 


be required for these positions. The majority of workers could 
still be taken from the ranks of the unemployed; but the rigid 
restriction of employment opportunities to persons on the public 
relief rolls certainly should be discontinued. Many white-collar 
persons with some academic training will endure months of unem- 
ployment and mental suffering before they apply for public charity. 
By the time they have reached this stage, such persons have usu- 
ally lost their morale, their confidence, and frequently, through 
disuse, such skills as they may have developed previously. It 
would benefit the program, the assisted libraries, and the work- 
ers, therefore, if mere need of employment, rather than proof of 
destitution, were made the condition for obtaining work on li- 
brary projects in the future. 

The emphasis on larger, more efficient units of library 
organization, a characteristic feature of WPA library assistance, 
especially in recent years, should be increased and strengthened 
in any future library work program. If it is not feasible to re- 
strict federal assistance in establishing library facilities in 
unserved communities to area-wide units capable of meeting mini- 
mum standards of service and support, a new program should at 
least provide specific, substantial inducements to counties will- 
ing to pool their resources for the establishment of strong, re- 
gional libraries or specialized regional services. A future pro- 
gram should also provide enough assistance to established local 
libraries in demonstration areas to make their active participa- 
tion worth while. This will necessitate abandoning the present 
artificial limitation of assistance to "new" work, and will as- 
sure the Integration of existing libraries with any new, area- 
wide units of library organization and support which may be formed 
as a result of federally-assisted demonstrations. 

Funds for individual demonstration programs should be 
available only for a specified, limited period (probably not to 
exceed two years) . Thereafter, gradually decreasing amounts of 
assistance might be continued for an additional transitional pe- 
riod to areas that had established permanent support for the 
service. In areas where such support had not been established, 
the entire facilities of the demonstration should be withdrawn 
for use elsewhere. These terms of assistance should be publi- 
cized widely and should be formally accepted by county authori- 
ties and participating local libraries before a demonstration is 


begun. As under the PA, funds for library assistance should be 
matched by state and local contributions. However, under a new 
program the amount of such financial participation should be more 
clearly defined; and the continuance of federal aid should depend 
on the satisfactory maintenance of these contributions from 
month to month. 

Finally, the federal funds for such a program should not 
be restricted to the payment of wages to the extent that they 
were under the WPA. During the entire period from 1935 through 
June, 1941, only 2.2 per cent of all WPA library project funds 
were spent for non-labor purposes. Clearly, any future plan of 
library assistance should provide for the use of federal funds 
for books, equipment, and other necessary non-labor items more 
nearly in proportion to the requirements of a normal library 
service budget. 

In conclusion, It should be noted that these suggestions 
do not purport to represent the only feasible pattern for a fed- 
eral library work program. Nor do they touch upon many details 
which should be Included In a specific proposal for such an under- 
taking. They are merely offered as recommendations for consid- 
eration In the event that the opportunity again arises for libra- 
ries to participate extensively In some type of federal work pro- 
gram. It la believed that if these suggestions can be Incorpo- 
rated In such a program, many of the weaknesses that have seri- 
ously limited the effectiveness of WPA assistance to libraries 
may be avoided. 


Federal Work Programs, Federal Aid, 
and Related Subjects 

Books, Articles, and Pamphlets 

Adams, G. X. Workers on Relief. New Haven: Yale University 
Press, 1939. 

Ady, Bower. Equalizing Eduoational Opportunity by Means of Fed- 
eral Aid to Education Columbia," Mo.: The Debate Hand- 
book, 1934. 

Alsberg, E. Gk America Fights the Depression; A Photographic 
Record of the CWA. New York: Coward-MoCann, 1934. 

Anderson, Nels. The Right to Work. New York: Modern Age, 1938. 

Binkley, R. C. "The Why of the White-Collar Program." Washing- 
ton, n.d. (Mimeographed.) 

Bitterman, H. J. State and Federal Orants in Aid. New York: 
Mentzer, Bush and Co., 1938. 

Brown, J. C. Public Relief, 1929-1939. New York: Henry Holt and 
Co., 1940. 

Burns, A. E., and Williams, A. E. A Survey of Relief and Security 
Programs . Washington, 1938. (Photoprinted.) 

Chlsm, L. L, Economic Ability of the States to Finance Public 

Schools. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University, 

Cllne, D. I. Training for Recreation; An Account of the In- 

Service Training Program of the WPA Division of Recreation* 
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939. 

Covert, Timon. Federal Aid for Education; A Brief History. 
Washington: U.S. Office of Education, 1934. 

Ecker-R., L. L. (ed.) "Financing Relief and Recovery," Municipal 
Year Book, 1937. Chicago: International City Managers 
Association, 1937. Pp. 372-493. 

Gayer, A. D. Public Works in Prosperity and Depression. New 
York: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1935. 

(Jill, Corrlngton. Wasted Manpower. New York: W. W. Norton Co*, 



Herfcer, H. T. The Influence of the ?VA on School Building Con- 
struction In New York State, 1935-1936. New York: Teach- 
ers College, Columbia University, 1938. 

Hopkins, H. L. Spending to Save; the Complete Story of Relief. 
New York: W. W. Norton Co., 1936. 

Huzar, Ellas. Federal Unemployment Relief Policies: the First 
Decade. Princeton, 1940. 

Ickes, Harold. Back to Work; the Story of the PWA. New York: 
Macmillan Co., 1935. 

Isakoff, J. F. The PWA. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 

Johnsen, J. E. (comp.) Federal Aid for Education. New York: 
H, W. Wilson Co., 1941. 

Key, V. 0., Jr. The Administration of Federal Grants to the 

States. Chicago: Committee on Public Administration of 
the Social Science Research Council, 1938. 

Lilienthal, D. E. The TVA: An Experiment in the "grass Roots" 
Administration of Federal Functions. Knoxville , Tenn . : 
The Tennessee Valley Authority, 1939. 

Lindley, B. Gk A New Deal for Youth: the Story of the NYA. New 
York; Viking Press, 1938. 

Lorwin, L. L. Youth Work Programs; Problems and Policies , Wash- 
ingt on : American Council on Education, 1941. 

Macdonald, A. P. Federal Aid; A Study of the American Subsidy 
System. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1928. 

Macmahon, A. W. , Millett, J. D., and Ogden, Gladys. The Adminis- 
tration of Federal Work Relief, Chicago: Public Adminis- 
tration Service. 1941. 

Miles, A. P. Federal Aid and Public Assistance in Illinois. 
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1941. 

Miller, W. L. "The Relative Ability of the States to Finance 

Public Education." Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, De- 
partment of Education, University of Chicago, 1940. 

Millett, J. D. The Works Progress Administration in flew York 
City. Chicago: Public Administration Service, 1938. 

Muller, H. M. Federal Aid for the Equalization of Educational 
Opportunity. New York: Macmillan Co., 1934. 

National Appraisal Committee. U.S. Community Improvement Ap- 
praisal: A Report on the" Work Program of the WPA. Wash- 
ington, 1938. 

National Education Association of the United States. Federal Ac- 
tivities in Education. Washington: Educational Policies 
Commission, 1939. 


Pfiffner, J. M. Research Methods in Public Administration. New 
York: The Ronald Press Co., 1940. 

Reeves, F. W. "Principles of Administrative Organization/ Cur- 
rent Issues in Library Administration. Edited by C. B. 
Joeckel. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939. 
Pp. 1-21. 

Stafford, P. T. government and the Needy. Princeton: Princeton 
University Press, 1941. 

Williams, E. A. Federal Aid for Relief. New York: Columbia Uni- 
versity Press, 1939. 

. "New Techniques in Federal Aid," American Political 

Science Review. XXXIV (October, 1940), 947-54. 

Williams, J. K. Grants- in- Aid under the Public Works Administra- 
tion; A Study in Federal-State-Local Relations . New York: 
Columbia University Press, 1939. 

Zappolo, Fred. "Employee Relations in- the Work Projects Adminis- 
tration/ Public Administration Review, I (July, 1940), 

Public Documents 

Campbell, D. S., Bair, F. H., and Harvey, 0. L. Educational Ac- 
tivities of the Works Progress Administration. Washing- 
ton; Government Printing Office, 1939. 

Carothers, Doris. Chronology of the Federal Emergency Relief Ad- 
ministration, May 12. 1933 to December 31. 1955. Wash- 
ington: Government Printing Office, 1937. 

Emergency Relief and Construction Act of 1932. Public No. 302, 
72d Cong., 47 U.S. Statutes 709, c. 520. Approved July 
21, 1932. 

Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935. Public Res. No. 11, 
74th Cong., 49 U.S. Statutes 115, c. 48. Approved April 
a, 1935. 

Federal Emergency Relief Act of 1933. Public No. 15, 73d Cong., 
48 U.S. Statutes 55, c. 30. Approved May 12, 1933. 

Johnson, P. 0., and Harvey, 0. L. The National Youth Administra- 
tion. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1938. 

National Advisory Committee for Community Service Projects. "Min- 
utes of the Conference of the National Advisory Commit- 
tee .... held in Washington, D.C., May 21, 22, and 23, 
1940." (Mimeographed.) 

Reorganization Act of 1939. Public No. 19, 76th Cong., 53 U.S. 
Statutes 561, c. 36. Approved April 3, 1939. 


Short, C. W., and Brown, R. S. Public Buildings; A Survey of the 
Architecture of Projects Constructed by Federal and Other 
(government Bodies between 1933 and 1959 1 with the Assist- 
ance of the PWA. Washington: Government Printing Office, 

U.S. Congress, House, Committee on Appropriations. Investigation 
and Study of the WPA. Washington: Government Printing 
Office, 1940. 

U.S. Federal Civil Works Administration. Rules and Regulations. 
Washington: Q-overnment Printing Office, 1933. 

U.S. Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Monthly Reports 
(May 22, 1933-June 30, 1936). Washington: Government 
Printing Office, 1933-1936. 

_ . Rules and Regulations. No.l-. Washington: Government 
Printing Office, 1933- . 

_ . Statistical Summary of Emergency Relief Activities, 

January. 1933 through December, 1935. Washington, 1937. 

U.S. Federal Works Agency. Annual Reports. Washington: Govern- 
ment Printing Office, 1940- . 

U.S. Laws, Statutes. Principal Acts and Executive Orders Relat- 
ing to the Public Works Administration"! Washingt on : Gov- 
ernment Printing Office, 1938. 

U.S. National Resources Planning Board. After Defense What? 
Washington: Government Printing Office, 1941. 

U.S. National Youth Administration. Administration and Program 
Operation of the NYA. Washington: Government Printing 
Office, 1937. 

_ . Facing the Problems of Youth; the Work and Objectives 

of the NYA. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1937. 

U.S. President. Report of the President of the U.S. to Congress, 
Shoving the Status of Funds and Operations under the 
Emergency Relief Appropriation Acts for the Fiscal Years 
1935 to 1942 Inclusive, as of December 31, 194TI Wash- 

cy Rel 
ington: Government Printing Office, 1942. 

U.S. Public Works Administration. Allotments for Educational 

Building Construction. Washington: Public Works Adminis- 
tration, 1939. 

. America Builds; the Record of the PWA. Washington: 

Government Printing Office, 1939. 

. The First 3 Yeara. Washington: Government Printing 

Office, 1936. 

. PWA; A Fgur~Year Record of Construction of Permanent 
and Useful Public Works. Washington: Government Printing 
Office, 1937. 


U.S. Public Works Administration. PWA Aids to Education, Wash- 
ington: Government Printing Office, 1937. 

. Pending Non-Federal PWA Projects, as of January 18. 

1939. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1939. 

U.S. Work Projects Administration. Activities of the Works Prog- 
ress Administration. Washington: Government Printing Of- 
fice, 1936. 

. Analysis of Civil Works Program Statistics* Washing- 
ton, June, 1939. 

. An Analysis of the Employment of Women on WPA Proj- 
ects. December, 1935 through May, 1936"! Washington, 

. Bibliography of Research Project Reports- Washington, 

1940- . 

. Catalog of Publications., 1935-1937. Washington, 1937. 

Catalog of Research and Statistical Publications. 

Washington, 1940. 

Chronology of Federal Relief Legislation, 1952-1939. 

i, D. 

Washington, December, 1939. 

_. "A Collection of Executive Orders Affecting the WPA. 11 
"Washington, 1935. (Mimeographed. ) 

. Community Recreation Programs; A Study of WPA Recrea- 
~tion Projects. Washington, 1940. 

"Custody and Control of Property." (Operating Procedure 
"No. G-3.) Washington, revised August 11, 1939. (Mimeo- 
graphed. ) 

. Employment on Projects in March. 1936: the WPA, Includ- 
ing the NYA. Washington, 1936. 

Government Aid During the Depression to Professional, 

Technical, and Other Service Workers. Washington, 1936* 

"Guide to Project Eligibility." (Operating Procedure 
""No. 0-1.) Washington, revised February 28, 1939. (Mimeo- 
graphed. ) 

. Inventory? An Appraisal of the Results of the WPA. 
"Washington: Government Printing Of flee , 1938. 

_. Manual for Leader* of Foremanship Conferences together 
"with Discussion Outlines* Washingt on , 1936 . 

Manual of Rule a and Regulations . 4 vola. (loose-leaf). 
""Washington, 1939-7 

"The Operation of Specific Professional and Service 
"Projecta." (Operating Procedure No. (35.) Washington, 
revised January 10, 1940. (Mimeographed,) 


U.S. Work Projects Administration. "Physical Accomplishments on 
WPA Projects through October 1, 1937." Washington, 1938. 
(Mimeographed. ) 

. Questions and Answers on the WPA. Washington: Govern- 
ment Printing Office, 1939. 

. Report on Progress of the WPA Program. Washington, 

1936-1940. Published monthly during 1936, quarterly dur- 
ing 1938, and annually in 1939 and 1940. 

. Statistical Summary of WPA Community Service Programs. 

Washington, 1940- . Issued irregularly. 

. Subject Index of Research Bulletins and Monographs Is- 
sued by the FERA and WPA Divisions of Social Research. 
Washington, 1937. 

. Summary of Relief and. Federal Work Program Statistics. 

1933-1940. Washington: G-overnment Printing Office, 1941. 

. WPA Projects; An Analysis of Projects Placed in Oper- 
ation through June. 1937. Washington, 1938. 

. VPA Statistical Bulletin. Washington, 1940- . Monthly. 

. The WPA Week in National Defense. Washington, 1941- . 


Library Extension 

Books and Pamphlets 

American Library Association. "Library Extension News." Mimeo- 
graphed j appears irregularly. 

"Regional and District Libraries." Chicago: American 

Library Association, 1942. (Mimeographed.) 

. "Regional and District Library Laws." Chicago: Ameri- 
can Library Association, 1942. (Mimeographed.) 

* "State Grants to Libraries." Chicago: American Library 

Association, 1937. (Mimeographed.) 

. "The State Library Agency: Its Functions and Organiza- 
tion." Chicago: American Library Association, 1939. 

British Columbia Public Library Commission. British Columbia Li- 
brary Survey. Victoria, B.C., 1929. 

The Carnegie Library Demonstration In Prince Edward Island 1 Canada, 
1933-1936. Charlottetown, P.E.I.: Prince Edward Island 
Libraries, 1936. 


Chandler, H. B., and Croteau, J. T. A Regional Library . New 
'York: American Association for Adult Education, 1940. 

Commission -of Enquiry into Canadian Libraries. Libraries in 

Canada; A Study of Library Conditions and Needs . Rye r- 
son, 1933. 

Cooke, A. S. (ed.) County Libraries Manual. London: The Library 
Association, 1935. 

, The Equal Chance; Books Help to Make It. Chicago: American Li- 
brary Association, 1936. 

Fair, E. M. (ed.) Country-Wide Library Service. Chicago: Amer- 
ican Library Association, 1934. 

Frayser, M. E. The Libraries of South Carolina. Clemson, S.C.: 
Clemson Agricultural College, 1933. Issued as Bulletin 
No. 292 of the South Carolina Agricultural Experiment 
Station of Clemson Agricultural College. 

Orleason, E. A. The Southern Negro and the Public Library. 
Chicago: University of Chicago 'Press, 1941. 

How to Organize a County Library Campaign. Chicago: American Li- 
brary Association, 1931. 

Humble, M. Rural America Reads; A Study of Rural Library Serv- 
ice. New Yorfc: American Association for Adult Education, 

Joeckel, C, B. G-overnment of the American Public Library. 
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1935. 

. Library Service. Washington: G-overnment Printing Of- 

fice, 1938. 

Johnson, H. W. "United States Bookmobiles in Library Extension." 
Unpublished Master *s thesis, Department of Education, 
University of Chicago, 1942. 

Long, Harriet. County Library Service. Chicago: American Library 
Association, 1925. 

Louisiana Library Commission* Report on the Louisiana Library 
Demonstration. 1925-1930. New York; League of Library 
Commissions, 1931. 

Macleod, R. D. County Rural Libraries. London: Graf ton and Co., 

Sandoe, M. W. County Library Primer. New York: H. W. Wilson Co., 

Tennessee Valley Authority. "Tennessee Valley Library Council, 
Conference, March 2? and 28, 1941. * Knoxville, Tenn., 
1941. (Mimeographed.) 


U.S. Department of Agriculture. Rural Library Service. Washing- 
ton; Government Printing Office, 1940. Farmer's Bulletin 
No. 1847. 

Van Male, John. "The State as Librarian: A Study of the Co-ordi- 
nation of Library Services in Wisconsin." Unpublished 
Ph.D. dissertation, Graduate Library School, University 
of Chicago, 1942. 

Veit, Fritz. "State Supervision of Public Libraries; with Spe- 
cial Emphasis on the Organization and Functions of State 
Library Extension Agencies." Unpublished Ph.D. disserta- 
tion, Graduate Library School, University of Chicago, 

Wilson, L. R. The Geography of Reading: A Study of the Distribu- 
tion and Status of Libraries in the United States. 
Chicago: American Library Association and the University 
of Chicago Press, 1938. 

Wilson, L. R., and Wight, E. A. County Library Service in the 
South. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1935. 


Cole, W. E., and Crowe, H. P. "Recent Trends in Rural Library 
Planning," Recent Trends in Rural Planning. New York: 
Prentice-Hall, 1937. Chap. xil. 

"County Library Statistics," Bulletin of the American Library 
Association. XXX (February, 1936), 115-21. 

Joeckel, C. B. "Design for a Regional Library Service Unit," 
Library Quarterly. XII (July, 1942), 571-82. 

. "Realities of Regionalism" in L. R. Wilson (ed. ), Li- 
brary Trends. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 
1937. Pp. 63-86. 

Kolb, J. H. "Library Service for Rural People" in L. R. Wilson 
(ed.), Library Trends. Chicago: University of Chicago 
Press, 1937. Pp. 13-34. 

"Looking toward National Planning," Bulletin of the American Li- 
brary Association. XX7III (August, 1934 ) ,453-60 . 

Moon, W. A. "The Tidewater Regional Public Library in Virginia," 
ALA Bulletin. XXXV (October 1, 1941), 471-79. 

H A National Plan for Libraries," Bulletin of the American Library 
Association, XXIX (February, 1935), 91-98. 

"Public Library Statistics/ ALA Bulletin. XXXIII (July, 1939), 

Purdy, Gk F. "Public Library Service in the Middle West," Library 
Quarterly. 1938, pp. 346-72. 


Randolph, Dorothy. "Vermont's Regional Library Centers, 11 ALA 
Bulletin, XXXVI (January, 1942), 18-23. 

Rothrock, M. U., and Harris, H. M, "A Regional Library in the 
Tennessee Valley," ALA Bulletin. XXXV (December, 1941), 

Rossell, B. S. "Library Planning in 42 States," School and So- 
ciety. XLI (March 9, 1935), 339-42. 

Stewart, H. G-. "Advantages and Disadvantages in the Administra- 
tion of a Regional Library, " Bulletin of the American 
Library Association. XXVIII (September, 1934), 604-8. 

. "Regional Library Development" in L. R. Wilson (ed.), 

Library Trends. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 
1937. Pp. 87-104. 

Library Work Relief 

Allen, L, H. "NYA in Illinois," Wilson Library Bulletin. XIV 
(May, 1940), 638-39. 

. "NYA Library Service," Illinois Libraries. XXII (Sep- 
tember, 1940), 60-64. 

"Alphabet in Vermont Libraries," Vermont Library Bulletin, XXXI 
(December, 1935), 46-49. 

American Library Association. "A Federal Library Project." 

Chicago: American Library Association, 1935. (Mimeo- 
graphed. ) 

. "Libraries and the Work Relief Program." A news let- 
ter, issued occasionally by the Public Library Division 
of the American Library Association, 1934- . (Mimeo- 
graphed. ) 

. "Library Service to New Areas through WPA Library 

Projects." Chicago: American Library Association, 1936. 
(Mimeographed. ) 

. "Proposed Work Relief Projects for Individual Libra- 
ries on a State-Wide Basis." Chicago: American Library 
Association, 1935. (Mimeographed.) 

Anderson, M. H. "WPA State-Wide Library Project," Library Ocour- 
rent (Indiana), XIII (July-December^ 1939), 75-77, 103. 

Askew, S. B. "WPA in New Jersey," Wilson Library Bulletin. XIV 
(May, 1940), 634-37. 

Barker, T. D. "Libraries and Federal Projects," Libraries of the 
South. Chicago: American Library Association, 1936. Pp. 


Bement, Constance. W WPA Library Service to New Areas/ Bulletin 
of the American Library Association, XXXII (March, 1938), 

Blinn, H. E. "WPA Newspaper Clipping and Indexing Service," 

Pacific Historical Review, VI (September, 1937), 284-87. 

Bo.vee, J. "WPA Library Service Project," South Dakota Library 
Bulletin, March, 1941, p. 13; and June, 1941, p. 36. 

"The CWA and the Library Profession," Wilson Library Bulletin. 
VIII (May-June, 1934), 528-34. 

"CWA Projects," Illinois Libraries, XVI (January, 1934), 3-9. 

Canfield, V. "Rural Library Service A Report of Progress," Wis- 
consin Library Bulletin. XXXVII (July, 1941), 121. 

Chamberlain, H. J. "CCC Libraries," Library Journal. LXIII 
(April, 1938), 299-301. 

Chancellor, John. The National Youth Administration and Libra- 
ries, 11 Bulletin of the American Library Association, XXIX 
(October, 1935 J, 796-98. 

Chapman, E. A. "Proposed WPA State-Wide Project," Library Oo cur- 
rent (Indiana), XII (April-June, 1938), 326. 

* "State Agencies and the WPA, " National Association of 

State Libraries. Papers and Proceedings . XLI (1937-1938), 

. "Theory and Practice in the Organization and Operation 

of WPA Library Service Projects," National Association of 
State Libraries. Papers and Proceedings a XLII (1939), 24- 

. "31 State-Wide WPA Library Projects Now Operating," 

ALA Bulletin, XXXIII (February, 1939), 80-81. 

. "WFA and Rural Libraries," Bulletin of the American 

Library Association, XXXII (October, 1938), 703-9. 

"WPA Demonstrations Serve Millions of Readers," ALA 

Bulletin. XXXIV (April, 1940), 225-31. 

. M WPA State-Wide Library Service Projects." Unpublished 

paper presented before the Southeastern Library Associa- 
tion Conference, Savannah, Q-eorgia, October 25, 1940. 

"Civil Works Service and the Library," Library Journal. LIX (March, 
1, 1934), 212-18. 

"Civil Works Service Projects," Library Oocurrent (Indiana), XI 
(January-March, 1933), 162-63. 

Crawford, A. D. "WPA State-Wide Library Service Projects," South- 
western Library Aiflooiation Papers and Proceedings. X 
(1940), 99-106. 


Curry, A. R. "Two Phases of the WPA Library Project in Texas, 
Texas Library Association News Notes. XVII (January, 
1941), 7-8. 

"WPA Library Work in Texas," Texas Library Association 

News Notes, XIII (October, 1937), 3-4. 

Davies, C. A. "Work of the NYA in Illinois, 11 Illinois Libraries. 
XVIII (October, 1936), 247-49. 

Davis, Eleanor. "Selecting Books for WPA Library Demonstrations, 
Library Notes and News (Minnesota), XII (December, 1939), 

Donahoe, D. A. "Polk County WPA Project No. 550," Iowa Library 
Quarterly, XIII (January-February-March, 1937), 7-9. 

Donaldson, M. C. "State-Wide WPA Library Project, 11 Iowa Library 
Quarterly, XIII (July-August-September, 1938), 102-3. 

Dowdell, E. "WPA Library Service in South Dakota," South Dakota 
Library Bulletin. XXIV (June, 1938), 26-28. 

Elliott, B. "Suburban Library Meets Today's Demands, 11 Wilson Li- 
brary Bulletin. VIII (April, 1934), 460-61. 

"Emergency Work Spreading, 11 Bulletin of the American Library As- 
sociation, XXVIII (January, 1934), 37-39. 

Estes, G-. W. "Rural Library Service Projects of the National 

Youth Administration," Bulletin of the American Library 
Association, XXX (October, 1936), 939-41. 

"Federal Aid to Oklahoma Libraries," in Oklahoma Library Commis- 
sion, Oklahoma Libraries. 1900-1937, pp. 243-47. 

"Final Report of the FERA/ Wilson Library Bulletin, XI (May, 
1937), 620-21. 

Foutts, J, C. M WPA State-Wide Project in Ohio/ 1 National Asso- 
ciation of State Libraries, Papers and Proceedings, XLI 
(1938), 32-35. 

(Joree, E. S. "Progress Made in Texas with Federal Aid," Texas 
Library Association Neva Notes, X (January, 1934), 7. 

Hatfield, H. "Greeley's Government Help/ Library Journal, LXI 
(November 15, 1936), 887-88. 

Hosea, H. R. "Problems in the Accessibility of Research Materi- 
als," Special Libraries , XXXII (January, 1941), 5-9* , 

Hough, H. W. "State-Wide Library Project/ Colorado Libraries, 
No. 2 (June, 1937), p. 5. 

"The Human Side of the Project/ Library Notes and News (Minne- 
sota), XII (December, 1939), 398-99. 


Joeckel, C. B. "Libraries in the Federal Emergency Program," 

Library Service. Washington: G-overnment Printing Office, 

Kerwin, J. W. "WPA Serves County Libraries in Michigan/ 1 Michi- 
gan Libraries, III (June, 1937), 9-10. 

Klein, F. E. H WPA State-Wide Library Project," Colorado Library 
Association Bulletin, No. 6 (September, 1938), pp. 41-46. 

Lehmann, J. E. "Informing the Public about the WPA Project," Li- 

, . . 

brary Notes and News (Minnesota), XII (December, 1939), 

"Librarians and the CWA," Wilson Library Bulletin, VIII (February, 
1934), 345-46. 

"Libraries and the CWA," Library Notes and News (Minnesota), XI 
(March, 1934), 12-13. 

"Libraries and the WPA," Iowa Library Quarterly, XII (April-May- 
June, 1936), 221. 

"Libraries and the WPA," Wisconsin Library Bulletin. XXXIII 
(March, 1937), 61-63. 

"Libraries and the Work Relief Program," New York Libraries. XIV 
(August, 1935), 233-37. 

"Library Demonstration G-ets Under Way. " Library Notes and News 
(Minnesota), XII (March, 1939), 309. 

"Library Project of the Works Progress Administration," Louisiana 
Library Association Bulletin, III (March, 1940) ,"15"! 

"Library Projects under Public Works, Civil Works, and Relief Ad- 
ministrations," Bulletin of the American Library Associa- 
tion, XXVII (December, 1933), 539-51. 

"Library Projects under the FERA,' 1 Bulletin of the American Li- 
brary Association, XXVIII (October, 1934), 826-39. "" 

Luke, R. A. "Administrative Library Projects, " Colorado Library 
Association Bulletin. No. 12 (June, 1941), p. 10, 

McAfee, B. F. "Library Development through WPA," Texas Library 
Association News Notes. XVII (July, 1941), 24-25. 

McClure, M. B. "Federal Aid in Enid, Oklahoma, 11 Library Journal. 
LXII (February 15, 1937), 172. 

-MaoKinney, . "CWA and Pennsylvania Libraries," Pennsylvania Li- 
brary Notes. January, 1934, pp. 388-89. 

Mason, M. F. "Partial Report on Rural Library Service (NYA)," 
New York Libraries, XV (April, 1936), 107-10. 

"Massachusetts 1 New Bookmobiles," ALA Bulletin. XXXIV (March, 
1940), 161. - 


Maxwell, G. L. "Educational Program of the WPA and the Public 
Library" in L. R. Wilson, Role of the Library in Adult 
Education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1937. 
Pp. 47-68. 

Munn, Ralph. "Made Work," Bulletin of the American Library Asso- 
ciation. XXVII (April, 1933), 189-90. 

Myer, E. G. "Rhode Island's State-Wide Library Project," Wilson 
Library Bulletin. XVI (May, 1942), 755-57. 

"NYA Project," Pacific Bindery Talk. IX (January, 1937), 84. 

"NYA Student Work Program in Universities and Colleges/ Special 
Libraries, XXXII (March, 1941), 84-88. 

Norton, H. C. "WPA Union Library Catalog," Vermont Library Com- 
mission Bulletin. XXVII (June, 1941), 2-3. 

Olson, J. E. "WPA and NYA in the Public Library," Pacific North- 
west Library Association Quarterly, III (October, 1938), 

Olson, L. A. "Developing a State-Wide Library Project, 11 Library 
Notes and News (Minnesota), XII (December, 1939), 389-92. 

"Opportunities under PWA and WPA," Bulletin of the American Library 
Association. XXXII (July, 1938), 470. 

"PWA Library Grants," Wilson Library Bulletin. XIII (March, 1939), 

U ?WA Library Projects," Illinois Libraries, XVI (January, 1934), 

"Pack-Horse Library/ Rural America, XVII (October, 1939), 11-12. 

Reed, E. E. "Federal Programs and Libraries," Maine Library As- 
sociation Bulletin. I (April, 1940), 4-5. 

"Report on the WPA Library Demonstration," Library Notes and News 
(Minnesota), XII (June, 1939), 338. 

Robinson, Elizabeth. "Federal Aid Comes to Mississippi," Library 
Journal , LX (February 1, 1935), 95-98. 

Rossell, B. 8. "Book Relief in Mississippi," Survey, LXXI (March, 
1935), 73-74. 

. "Library Frontiers," Survey Graphic, XXIII (April, 

1934), 388-89. 

"Scores of New Emergency Projects Under Way," Bulletin of the 
American Library Association. XXVIII (February, 1934), 

Sherwood, G. M. "Three Rhode Island State Library Projects," Na- 
tional Association of State Libraries, Papers and Proceed- 
ings. XLII (1939), 10-12* 


"State-Wide Library Project," Library News Bulletin (Washington), 
VI (July-August, 1938), 3; and VI (October, 1938), 4. 

"State-Wide Library Project," Library Occurren! (Indiana), XIII 
(January-March, 1940), 152. 

"State-Wide WPA Library Project," Massachusetts Library Associa- 
tion Bulletin, XXIX (October, 1939), 56. 

"Statistics on WPA Library Demonstrations," Library Notes and 
News (Minnesota), XII (December, 1939), 400. 

"Summary of the Co-operative Work by the Illinois State Library 
and Federal Agencies," Illinois Libraries, XX (January, 
1938), No. 1. 

Taber, F. T. "Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth," Library Jour- 
nal, LXI (December 15, 1936), 939. 

Varley, D. H. "Libraries and Unemployment in America," Library 
Association Record, 4th ser., II (December, 1935 ) , 555- 

"Visitor Answered," Vermont Library Bulletin. XXXII (June, 1936), 

'WPA Demonstration Library Statistics," Minnesota Libraries, XIII 
(December, 1941), 247. 

"WPA Library Project" (irregular reports on library project de- 
velopments in Minnesota) , Library Notes and News, XI 
(January-March, 1936), 165-66; XII (December, 1938), 252: 
(June, 1939), 338; Minnesota Libraries, XIII (June, 1940), 
51; (September, 1940), 82; (December, 1940), 115; (March, 
1941), 146; (June, 1941), 179. 

"WPA Library Projects," Wisconsin Library Bulletin. XXXVI (Janu- 
ary, 1940), 2-3. 

"WPA Library Service in South Dakota in 1936," South Dakota Li- 
brary Bulletin, XXII (June, 1936), 24-25. 

"WPA Project in Review," Minnesota Libraries, XIII (December, 
1941), 243-47. 

"WPA State-Wide Library Project," Library Oocurrent (Indiana), 
XIV (January-March, 1942), 15-16. 

"WPA State-Wide Library Project Stimulates Library Progress in 
Georgia," in Georgia Library Commission, Ninth Report. 
Atlanta: The State of Georgia, 1942. Pp. 19-25. 

"WPA State-Wide Library Service Project," South Dakota Library 
Bulletin, XXVII (September, 1941), 54-55. 

"WPA Survey of Illinois Libraries," Illinois Libraries. April, 
1935 (Supplement). 

"WPA Work in College and University Libraries in Texas," Texas 

Library Association News Notes, XVI (January, 1940), 19-21. 


"War Information Service: Library Project Redirected, 11 Minnesota 
Libraries. XIII (June, 1942), 305. 

Warner, H. "WPA Library Projects in Illinois," Illinois Libraries. 
XVIII (October, 1936), 194-96. 

Winton, &. E. "School Library and. Work Relief Programs," Michigan 
School Librarian. I (April, 1935), 2-3. 

Wilson, L. R. "Library Optima for the South by 1950" in H. M. 

Lydenberg and Andrew Keogh (eds.), William Warner Bishop: 
a Tribute, 1941. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1941. 
Pp. 186-20*4: 

Woodward, E. S. "WPA Library Projects, 11 Wilson Library Bulletin, 
XII (April, 1938), 518-20. 

Zimmerman, L. F. "Organizing a State-Wide Library Project," Li- 
br&ry Notes and News (Minnesota), XII (December, 193977 

Library Project Manuals, Reports, 
and News Letters 

Illinois State-Wide WPA Library Project. "Library Service in the 
Work of the Chicago Public Library WPA Omnibus Project." 
Chicago, 1940. (Mimeographed.) 

. "Rural Library Handbook." July, 1937. (Multigraphed. ) 

. "Rural Library Manual of Procedures." December, 1938. 

(Mimeographed. ) 

Kansas State-Wide WPA Library Project. "Library Service Manual. 11 
Topeka, Kans., 1940. (Mimeographed.) 

Kentucky State-Wide WPA Library Project. "Manual of Bookmending 
and Bookbinding. 11 n.d. (Mimeographed.) 

"The Library Demonstrator" (a mimeographed news letter issued 

monthly in the Interests of the Citizens 1 Library Movement, 
by the Minnesota State-Wide WPA Library Project, from 
July, 1939 to June, '1941, inclusive). 

Louisiana State-Wide WPA Library Project. "A Manual for Training 
Branch Custodians." Baton Rouge, 1942. (Mimeographed.) 

. "News Letter. 11 Monthly, May, 1940- . (Mimeographed.) 

Michigan State-Wide WPA Library Project. "County Library Manual. 11 
September, 1937. (Mimeographed.) 

Mississippi WPA Library Project. "Foote-Notes." Brookhaven 
Field, Miss., May, 1937. (Mimeographed.) 

Missouri State-Wide WPA Library Project. "Library Service Project 
News Bulletin. 11 Monthly since January, 1940. (Mimeo- 
graphed. ) 


Missouri State-Wide WPA Library Project, "State-Wide Library 

Project; A Statement of Objectives, Policies, and Eligi- 
ble Activities." July, 1941. (Mimeographed.) 

North Carolina State-Wide WPA Library Project. "Annual Report, 
1937-1941." Raleigh, N. C., 1941. (Mimeographed.) 

, "Central Bookmending on N. C. WPA Library Project." 

March, 1941. (Mimeographed.) 

. "Workbook for Library Clerks." Raleigh, N. C., 1941. 

(Mimeographed. ) 

Ohio State-Wide WPA Library Project. "A Description of Unit A 

of the Library Service Project." Cleveland, Ohio, Febru- 
ary, 1941. (Mimeographed.; 

South Carolina State-Wide WPA Library Project. "Annual Reports, 
1936-37, 1937-38, 1938-39, and 1939-40." Columbia, S. C. 
(Mimeographed. ) 

. "Book Binders Manual." (Typewritten.) 

. "Bookmobile Manual." (Typewritten.) 

U.S. Federal Emergency Relief Administration. "Library Service 
through Work Projects for Women," FERA Bulletin, Series 
W-62, No. 4579, January 24, 1935. (Mimeographed.) 

. "Pack-Horse Library Unique." FERA Release, Series NO- 

1027, January 24, 1935. (Mimeographed.) 

U.S. Work Projects Administration. "Central Cataloging Service." 
WPA Library Service Circular No. 4, October 31, 1941. 

. "Preliminary Supervisors' Manual for the Operation of 

a State-Wide Library Service Project." September, 1940. 
(Mimeographed. ) 

. "Selection and Administration of Project-Owned Books." 

WPA Library Service Circular No. 2. February 18, 1941. 
(Mimeographed. ) 

. '"Training Manual." WPA Library Service Circular No. 3. 

March 13, 1941. (Mimeographed.) 

"Union Cataloging Projects." WPA Library Service Circu- 

lar No. 1. April 1, 1940. (Mimeographed.) 

- WPA Library Service Program; A 
"Washington, 1941. (A single-page, 

A Digest of Activities. 
folded leaflet . ) 

. "Working Procedure, State Project f.or Library Service." 

n. d. (Mimeographed. ) 

Virginia State-Wide WPA Library Project. "Virginia Library Project 
Manual* 11 Richmond, Va., 1939. (Mimeographed.)